If David Spade were a former child star, this movie would have gone direct-to-video. His latest comedy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, is an inconsistently amusing film that doesn't capitalize on its potential.
Everyone knows about child stars. There are plenty of them roaming around, most of them only appearing on such things as "E! True Hollywood Story" and "Celebrity Boxing." Typically, they appear to be hanging on to the last shred of stardom that they have. Smartly enough, a couple people got together and decided to make a movie about one such person - Dickie Roberts - who was popular for a couple years as a kid and is now a valet at a restaurant. Still, he thrives for his return to greatness and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal, including hiring a suburban family to teach him how to have a normal life.
I am a fan of Spade. Sure, his comedy is pretty goofy and usually quite stupid, and he isn't nearly as good as he was when his had Chris Farley at his side, but there's just something about him that makes me laugh. Even his bad material is usually somewhat entertaining. Usually.
Dickie Roberts has its moments and some good laughs. About fifty percent is worthwhile. The other fifty percent is not. Though the movie has cameo appearances of Brendan Fraser, Rob Reiner and countless real former child stars, it fails to capitalize on any running gags. Everything becomes tired rather quickly, and for some reason Spade isn't able to keep things going. Usually, even when the movie is going downhill, Spade is able to pull something out of his sleeve - not this time.
Most frustrating about this film is that it really does have potential; the idea is a good one. Still, it never capitalizes on the theme of the movie. A fair amount of former child stars show up throughout the film, but are not as integrated as they should be to make the movie really funny. More jokes about these real former child stars could have given the script a breath of fresh air.Dickie Roberts is mildly entertaining at times but is definitely one of Spade's worst films. One highlight is a closing credits song that is sung by about 20 former child stars, but other than that, the movie is unoriginal, uninteresting and uninspiring. Don't bother with this one.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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