Tuesday 18th January 2022

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (12A)
Directed by: Sam Weisman
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz
Dickie and Screech play poker with the other has-beens
Dickie and Screech play poker with the other has-beens

Little known Saturday Night Live comedian David Spade writes and takes the lead in this screwball comedy. Produced by Adam Sandler and his company Happy Madison, the story follows a washed up actor who became famous as a child on a TV show. After a few brief years of champagne and limousines though, Dickie Roberts finds he hungers for stardom again. Reduced to playing poker with other former child stars and unable to leave the house without wearing a hat and gloves, Dickie and his agent set out to transform their luck by getting an audition for Rob Reiner’s latest hit in the making.

However, at the audition, Dickie is told that he simply doesn't have the depth of emotion to play the part, because he's led such an extraordinary life. He didn't have a normal childhood and is not capable of playing an ordinary guy. Dickie decides to hire a family to raise him as a child, in the hope of getting a crash course in how to be a kid.

Dickie Roberts is reasonably amusing and I certainly wasn't bored at all during the film. At its heart, it's a family film with a happy ending, although the language in it is occasionally surprisingly rude, making me wonder exactly who this film is aimed at. There are countless real-life former child stars in this film, my favourites being Screech from Saved By The Bell and Corey Feldman of The Goonies fame, all of whom serve to underline the subtle point in this film: Hollywood chews up and spits out its stars, whether they are adult or not.

Overall, I'd have to say if you’re after a good comedy, you could do worse than this film, however, with School Of Rock (PG) and Along Came Polly (12A) out, I think you could also do better.

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Length: 99 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 20th February 2004

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