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Not bad. Not great, either.

Posted : 11 years, 8 months ago on 14 May 2008 12:58

"This is Nuckin' Futs!"

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star is a film that was severely panned by critics and audiences upon first release. It met with such an appalling reception that I purposely avoided it in fear of it being as horrible as some people have said. However when I finally watched the film all my previous expectations were surpassed. People called it 'poor' and 'laugh-less' but I guess it's a matter of taste: I laughed quite frequently and found it to be decent comedy.

Dickie Roberts (Spade) was a very popular child actor who had an enormous fan base. After his show was cancelled while still a young child, the 'child actor syndrome' kicks in: i.e. Dickie is no longer a desired actor among the studios. He slips off the grid and out of the industry due to his sudden drop in popularity. Even his mother leaves him while he is still at a young age. Now an adult, Dickie is poor and has been reduced to typical jobs such as being a valet attendant who parks cars. He misses the fame and popularity of being a famous actor. When in Hollywood he meets Brendan Fraser (played by himself, logically enough) who is able to get Dickie an audition for the new Rob Reiner film. But Dickie is rejected because he doesn't have the genuine feel of the part due to his childhood that he was robbed of. Reiner believes that Dickie just isn't a real person because of the way stardom affected him when he was a child. Dickie is still determined to get the part and stage a successful comeback. To do this he will need to develop a personality of his own. So he advertises a considerable amount of money if a family will allow him to move in and hopefully relive a proper childhood. Dickie moves in with the typical suburban family: selfless mother Grace (McCormack), selfish father George (Bierko) and their two kids Sam (Terra) and Sally (Boyd).

There is a good basic premise here. It's a well-known fact that child stars usually disappear from the spotlight or their life is lost to drugs and alcohol. Although the script is decent, it's ultimately flawed massively by its overuse of clich├ęs and conventions. Not to mention a few sickening sub-plots like the predictable one concerning Dickie falling in love with his new mother Grace. There's quite a bit of sexual humour trapped within this solitary sub-plot. And then of course we have the obligatory few scenes concerning school bullies that Dickie swiftly takes care of. These are all predictable and it wouldn't be a tragedy if they were left out. Despite this they're still mildly amusing at times.

The central laughs are built on the clever dialogue deliveries from David Spade. I'm not going to tell a lie at all - I thought that some of his insulting rants were absolutely hilarious and I was laughing out loud quite constantly. But it's a shame there wasn't any effort on the part of the screenwriter (looking at you, David Spade) to create any other gags or any other characters that can deliver funny dialogue.

After the first third of this film, we all know what the outcome will be. The conclusion is cheesy and predictable beyond words. The good news is that there are a number of decent laughs to keep one entertained despite its predictability.

David Spade is funny when given the right material to work with. Using a script he wrote himself it seems he gave his character the majority of the funny dialogue. The rest of the acting is okay but nothing groundbreaking. The kids sometimes seemed a little cardboard, as did the rest of the cast at times. Acting lessons are badly required during some sections of the movie.

Aside from its flaws and shortcomings, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star at least stocks a good supply of laughs. There's no brilliance or innovation in the laughs department; however the film is still hilarious viewing. One of the film's highlights: a reunion of genuine former child stars being grouped together for a musical finale during the end credits.

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Posted : 12 years, 4 months ago on 15 September 2007 01:05

This movie is HILLARIOUS!
I love it! Definetly one of my fav's! David Spade is a funny guy =]
Buut the first time seeing this is always the best. Even the second time i noticed i wasn't laughing as much..
This is a MUST SEE movie! it tops my funniest movies of all time list and is definetly way up there in my favourite movies, hope thats good enough reason for you to GO SEE IT NOW

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