Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star


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David Spade as Dickie Roberts
Ashley Edner as Heather Bolan
Scott Terra as Sam Tracy
Craig Bierko as George
Jenna Boyd as Sally Tracy
Jon Lovitz as Sidney
Mary McCormack as Grace
Alyssa Milano as Cyndi
Erin Murphy as Brittany
Doris Roberts as Peggy

Saturday Night Live has produced a long list of comedians, many of whom have gone on to make feature length movies. These include some of the best comedies of all times like The Blues Brothers and Animal House. Sadly, some of the worst comedies ever made has also been made by SNL alumni. David Spade has been unfortunate enough to be in some of the bad ones like Joe Dirt or Black Sheep. At first glance, Dickie Roberts looks to be of a similar nature.

The movie starts as an “E, Where Are They Now” episode, briefly showing us the youth of the now adult Dickie Roberts (David Spade). Dickie is an abrasive and obnoxious former child actor that sees his life as being at the absolute bottom with the only way of getting it better is by reclaiming the fame that he once had. The movie has brief appearances by many real life child actors and the interaction between the movie characters and the actual actors feels natural and draws the viewer into the film.

The premise of the movie, while a little far fetched, is actually more believable than the recall vote for governor of Califonia. Dickie has been told that a movie that is being casted has the “Role of a Lifetime” in it and it would rejuvenate his career. The only problem is that it requires that he understands what it means to have a normal childhood. For this, Dickie hires a family to give him insight into the youth that he never had.

During the course of the movie something remarkable happens – you actually feel empathy for Dickie. He really is not the monster which he appears to be at the start and the transition is gradual and believable. The humor in the movie is mostly derived from the interaction of Dickie and the family and it works. The rest of the acting is terrific, with the minor exception the two child actors that play Dickie’s adoptive family are a little stiff at times.

The humor in the mostly derived from physical comedy and foul or out of place language. Dickie’s trademark line from the show was “He’s Nucking Futs”. So it might be a bit strong for some younger children but most older kids should enjoy it.

Who should see this movie? Anyone interested in a light comedy that will leave you smiling by the time the end credits are rolling. If you have any nostalgia for child actors from the 60’s to the 80’s then you will love getting a chance to see the many guest appearances in the movie. There is minimal action, some prat falls are about it, but there is a surprisingly sweet romance. This makes a great date movie as long as the date you go with watched any amount of TV as a child. And stay through the closing credits. There is a music video by the former child actors that will have you laughing all the way through them.