Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Review
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At 35, Dickie Roberts (David Spade) wants to recapture the fame of his childhood. The film opens with a celebrity boxing match between Roberts and Emmanuel Lewis. After Roberts is embarrassed by a man half his size, he is all the more determined to recapture lost fame.

When Roberts finds out that Rob Reiner is casting a new film, he gets his agent, played by Jon Lovitz, to arrange an audition. At the same time, Roberts works the Hollywood grapevine to find someone who can call Reiner and arrange a meeting for him.

The vine method pays off, but he finds out that he’s clueless about how to be a “normal” guy. This is the one crucial piece that keeps Roberts from receiving the role. When Reiner mentions that he won’t cast the role for a few months, Roberts decides to sell the book rights to his autobiography and hire a family to teach him how to relive a “normal” childhood. There’s a great story arc as the audience gets to watch as Roberts helps the family as much as they help him.

Fans of David Spade and/or Happy Madison productions will love this movie. As a fan of Tommy Boy, Black Sheep and Joe Dirt, I was looking forward to seeing this movie anyway, but it was interesting to watch Spade tone down the sarcastic delivery as the film progressed.

The character of Dickie Roberts was hard to like or sympathize with in the beginning of the film, but it as Roberts grows closer to the family and lets his guard down, the audience can enjoy the transition. I also loved the song at the end of the film—with all the former child actors singing a “We are the World” parody.

The DVD offers a number of featurettes, including Comedy Central’s Canned Ham, the making-of feature, and a behind-the-scenes look at making the music video. Also included are an extended version of the movie’s closing song, deleted scenes, and audio commentary.

GRADE: A (movie), A (extras)

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