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Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

Released

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

98

Cast

David Spade

Mary McCormack

Still shot from the movie: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.

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Reviewed by

OverallC
ViolenceB-
SexC+
LanguageD
Drugs/AlcoholB+
Run Time98

Making the Grades

So, where have all the former child stars gone? Apparently they're lining up for bit parts and cameo appearances in David Spade's latest film, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. Far more fun for a generation who grew up with young actors like Barry Williams (The Brady Bunch), Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family) and Willie Ames (Eight is Enough), the entertainment value in the film comes from trying to match adult faces with the once well-known kids.

In the meantime, there's a story to tell.

Washed up in the acting business, Dickie Roberts (David Spade) now parks cars at a swanky hotel. But his dream is to rekindle the career that once saw his cherubic little face glowing on thousands of television screens. His opportunity comes when he learns of an audition for a Rob Reiner film. Needling his way in for an interview, Dickie discovers the real problem for his lack of success.

Reiner needs an actor who can play a ?normal? guy. Trouble is, this 35-year-old has-been is anything but normal. Growing up in the spotlight with an over-ambitious stage mom (Doris Roberts), Dickie missed out on all the regular things that ordinary kids do in an everyday family. But Dickie is sure that ?normal? is something he can learn with a little background research.

Trying to recreate the past and pick up on all the things he skipped, Dickie hires a family to teach him the joys of childhood. However, there are more than a few hesitations when the crass, loudmouthed former actor shows up on George (Craig Bierko) and Grace Tracy's (Mary McCormack) idyllic-looking front porch. Nervous about having Dickie in their house, Grace is also taken aback by the houseguest's lack of personal discipline, social skills and basic table manners.

Trying to recreate the past and pick up on all the things he skipped, Dickie hires a family to teach him the joys of childhood. However, there are more than a few hesitations when the crass, loudmouthed former actor shows up on George (Craig Bierko) and Grace Tracy's (Mary McCormack) idyllic-looking front porch. Nervous about having Dickie in their house, Grace is also taken aback by the houseguest's lack of personal discipline, social skills and basic table manners.

No doubt spending your formative years surrounded by adoring fans, flashing cameras and eager agents can be tough. So was seeing Maureen McCormick (The Brady Bunch), the once enviable star of my childhood, resort to using the infamous sexual expletive for a little dramatic effect. All I can say is ?Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.?

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.

Although played for comedy, this film portrays some actions that could be dangerous if imitated by children. Discussing deeds like pouring hot wax on someone, throwing bottles at others and calling in false 911 alarms can help children understand the consequences that this movie fails to depict.

In an era when the media offers too many faces only fifteen minutes of fame, alternative venues are developed to extend their brief notoriety. Celebrity boxing is one (www.fox.com/boxing). How do you feel about actors, sports figures, musicians and news names that try to retain their stardom by participating in these kinds of activities?

Despite their picture perfect first impression, what kind of challenges did the Tracy family face? What things helped Sam and Sally deal with those problems? How important is good parenting in helping children grow into productive, well-adjusted adults?

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Coarse Language
AB PG Coarse Language, Crude Content
MB PG Language Warning-----
ON PG Language May Offend, Not Recommended for Young Children
QC G
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

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