The first hint of just how promising this movie would be was the
fact that no one would see it with me – not even with an offer to
pay for a friend. “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” directed by
Sam Weisman and co-written by and starring David Spade, enters the
world of Corey Feldman and Gary Coleman, among others – the life of
a former child star. “Dickie Roberts” acts as a tribute to all
those names we grew up with but then so quickly forgot.

Presented as an “E True Hollywood Story,” the film may just as
well have been “Where Are They Now?” Spade stars as Dickie, a
washed-out child star with nothing but a valet’s job and the
memories of his signature phrase, “This is nucking futs.” Dickie,
wanting so desperately to make a comeback, hears about a film
project directed by Rob Reiner (which may well have a better plot
than “Dickie Roberts” itself). The problem is, Reiner won’t cast
Dickie because he grew up too fast. Dickie, then, has the ingenious
idea to pay a family to help him relive his childhood.

With the help of his agent, Sydney (Jon Lovitz), and some cash
from his compelling autobiography, Dickie finds a home with the
Tracy family. The plot continues on with a string of strange and
random events that make the film all the more ludicrous: Dickie
bathes a dead rabbit, Sydney donates a kidney to Reiner and
Dickie’s father may just be David Soul (better know as
Starsky).

The characters seem predictable, despite their quirks. George
Tracy (Craig Bierko), head of the household that takes Dickie in,
is a used-car salesman with a money-grubbing philosophy about pots.
The son and daughter (appropriately named Sally and Sam) are too
hopped up on sugary root beer to have ever heard of Candyland,
despite their familiarity with Transformers and Mouse Trap. And the
mother, Grace (Mary McCormack), seems shockingly comfortable
pushing a full grown man around town in a stroller.

“Dickie Roberts” ends up being a mix of off-the-wall characters,
sappy life-altering moments and David Spade antics. Spade’s
character is a trash-talking, sprinkler-impersonating, immature
adult, sporting a monkey print pajama jumper. Since they’re not so
well represented by Spade, the former child stars make sure they
get their 15 minutes of fame with a closing song, “Child Stars on
your Television.”

Dragging out the old cliches of Hollywood, the film is nothing
short of exploding cars and alcoholic actors. Dickie is just a
fictional version of David Spade; the film would have been better
off with an actual former child star as the lead. This film, among
other things, needs a little “Wessonality.”

Rating: 1 star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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