Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

Child Stars – those much loved cherub faced angels who win over the hearts of million with their cute faces and cuter antics – but what happens when they are all grown up and nobody is interested in them at all?

Dickie Roberts had it all, the high life, the money, the fame and the love of a nation who tuned in every week to see his show. With his catch phrase of “Nucking Futs!” and cheeky cherub face, he was the best child star ever as his 50 million viewers would testify.

Unfortunately things didn’t last as Dickie (David Spade) is now 35 and he parks cars for a living. Almost completely forgotten his only remembrance of fame is when he and a group of former child stars get together once a week to play poker.

Dickie is convinced that one day he will be back on top and even when his girlfriend Cyndi (Alyssa Milano) leaves saying that he is a washed up waste of a child star, Dickie’s resolute is unmoveable.

Dickie’s luck takes a turn for the better when he bumps into Brendan Fraser (most people in the film play themselves) who as a favour hooks Dickie up with director Rob Reiner (playing himself). Reiner has a script for a film that he is making that will guarantee instant success to whoever gets the lead - a lead that Dickie is determine to win at any cost. Unfortunately Reiner has a bit of bad news for Dickie - “I don’t think you can play the part because you’re not a real person”. The part requires someone who has experienced something that Dickie missed out on – a real childhood.

Determined to win the part, Dickie decides that the best way to win the lead is to recapture a real childhood and sets about ‘hiring’ himself a family.

Responding to Dickie’s advert is self-promoting ad-man George (Craig Bierko) who agrees to let Dickie live as part of his family for a month. Unfortunately George never passed it by his wife, Grace (Mary McCormack) or even mentioned it to his two children; Sally (Jenna Boyd) and Sam (Scott Tessa). The three are understandably perturbed having to living with the condescending and smarmy Dickie Roberts.

Can Dickie manage to capture an entire childhood within a month even in the frosty reception from his ‘family?’

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star is a film that could have been much more entertaining than it is. The character of Dickie Roberts is unlike able and is only really funny when put into situations of slapstick such as burning himself on a water-less Slip’n’Slide and learning to ride a bicycle. 

David Spade is just too vain and narcissistic to be a movie star of any calibre. He’s fine as a TV star and as a supporting movie player but to try and carry a whole film by himself is too much of a stretch. He just cannot convince as a little lost boy who finally grows up within a month.

There are two redeemable features in Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. The first is Jon Lovitz as Dickie’s faithful agent and the other is the slew of actual former child stars that are scattered throughout and especially the group that sing “We Are The World” with vulgar lyrics over the final credits. To name a few they include Danny Bonaduce, Leif Garrett, Dustin Diamond, Barry Williams, Corey Feldman, Corey Haim, Todd Bridges, Gary Coleman and so on. That is about the only thing that is worth watching the rest of the film for.

SCORE 4/10