The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

Submit to DeliciousSubmit to DiggSubmit to FacebookSubmit to Google BookmarksSubmit to StumbleuponSubmit to TechnoratiSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Judy Thorburn

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

Las Vegas Tribune - http://www.lasvegastribune.com
Las Vegas Round The Clock
- http://www.lasvegasroundheclock.com

The Women Film Critics Circle - http://www.wfcc.wordpress.com
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
">
kreatia@
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“DICKIE ROBERTS – FORMER CHILD STAR” – STRICTLY JUVENILE

Everyone is aware that for many a child star, growing up can mean an end to his or her career. We’ve seen that happen in so many cases.  Once the childish charm fades and the cuteness disappears, many have a hard time reinventing themselves as adult actors. Others become burnt out by the early pressures of fame, and disappear from the limelight, while a few, unable to cope, succumb to drugs, alcohol or crime. All you have to do is pick up one of the tabloids, and you are bound to find a story on a once famous kid star, now grown up and on the skids.

With that in mind, David Spade and veteran Saturday Night Live writer Fred Wolf have come up with a movie script called Dickie Roberts – Former Child Star, with Spade in the role of the fictionalized title character. The movie starts off on the right track, with a humorous version of TV’s E True Hollywood Story that chronicles Dickie’s life and his rise to stardom on the TV show that made him famous. As the precocious child star of the 70’s TV show, The Glimmer Gang, and known for his improbable trademark catch phrase “nucking futs”, he had it all - fame and fortune. But, after his show was cancelled, his stage mother Peggy, had no use for her son, and quickly abandoned him. Now, grown up and, once again dumped, this time by his bimbo girlfriend, Cyndi (Alyssa Milano, herself a former TV moppet, who has moved on to more sexy adult roles), Dickie, at age thirty-five, works as a valet at Morton’s restaurant in Hollywood, but is still desperately seeking a chance to make a comeback. He sees that break, when his agent Sidney, (SNL veteran Jon Lovitz) tells him about a role in Rob Reiner’s upcoming new film, Mr. Blake’s Backyard. But, he’s turned down when Reiner explains the part calls for a real person, a family man who had experienced a childhood, something that was missing in Dickie’s life. So, what does he do? Only in the movies – he hires a “normal family” to take him in for one month, treat him as one of their own, relive his childhood, and prove that he can relate to real people, to get the part.

The premise of exploited child stars that result in grown up has-beens, is an idea worth taking on.  However, as clever the start, this comedy proceeds to turn into just another silly vehicle for the sarcastic, deadpan Spade, and a chance for a few of his SNL buddies (Will Farell, Rachael Dratch) to make a big screen appearance, brief as they may be.  The plot goes where you expect.  Dickie’s entrance into his “adopted” family begins on a rocky start with this clan led by rarely present, uncaring dad, George, (Craig Bierko) and the attractive, nurturing Mom, Grace (Mary McCormack, who needs something better than this to sink her acting chops into). But, he soon begins to connect with the adorable daughter, Sally (Jenna Boyd), coaching her in the right moves to make cheerleader, and with her brother Sam (Scott Terra), in helping him fight off bullies at school and getting the attention of the hot new girl next door. In between, there is one barely amusing gag after another. Dickie learns to ride a bike, play slip and slide, and even spend some time in a tree house, which he cleverly transforms into a cool “crib”.  Do I even have to tell you were this all leads? The warm and fuzzy sentimental message at the end falls flat. How many times, in the movies, have we seen a jerk transform into a decent guy?   It’s nothing new, and very predictable.

But all is not lost. For those of you who are interested in seeing some of your favorite former kid stars and their TV moms, you are in for a treat.  Executive producer Adam Sandler and Spade have collected plenty to fill the bill.   One sequence has former teen celebs, Leif Garrett, Corey Feldman, Danny Bonaduce, Barry Williams, and Dustin Diamond appearing as Dickie’s poker game buddies. And, as the credits roll by, the best is left for last.  In a “We Are The World” style chorus, numerous former kid stars sing along to some very funny, self-mocking lyrics.  It’s a kick seeing how many faces you can recognize.   I wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise by mentioning all their names.

As for David Spade, himself, this Saturday Night Live and Don’t Shoot Me TV show alumna is a one trick pony, displaying the same obnoxious behavior that has brought him this far. However, it’s a particular appeal that can quickly become tiresome. Add this to his string of so-so movie comedies, such as Black Sheep and his most recent, Joe Dirt and you’ve got a fading career.  That’s just me calling Spade a spade!

You are here: Home Movie Reviews Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star