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:: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

David Spade co-writes and stars in this Adam Sandler produced comedy about Dickie Roberts and his comeback into showbiz. Dickie Roberts used to be the star of the number one hit sit-com “The Glimmer Gang”, the smart-arsed little kid whose catch phrase, “This is Nucking Futs”, had everyone around America in stitches. Once the ratings fell so did Dickie’s career. He was in television obscurity only to resurface from time to time as a “Where are they now?” scenario or on Entertainment Tonight when he’s gets himself into trouble with the law or the pathetically desperate attempt at being on television again with celebrity boxing.

Flash-forward to Dickie as a 35-year-old. Life has not been too kind to this former child star that now harbours a compulsion to wear gloves. Word on the street is that director Rob Reiner is looking to cast a former child star in his next movie which Dickie believes has his name written all over it. However, Reiner is not convinced. He believes that only an actor who has lived out a “normal” childhood would be suitable for the part. So what’s a former child star to do? Rent out a family who is willing to treat him like a child… of course!

The Finney family is more than happy to accommodate at a small fee of course, although it is only dad Finney who is happy to have Dickie as their new temporary resident. Whilst the dad’s away Dickie does play sending mum, sis and bro bonkers. They eventually warm to him and Dickie does learn about the importance of family through them, but not without some bumps along the way.

There are some absolutely absurd moments in this film, especially the countless cameos from every child star imaginable and their dog. This includes the extended child star sing-along at the film’s closing credits, and a few Hollywood heavyweights making their “guest” appearances. The story is… well, what story really? Ludicrous at best, especially Dickie’s girlfriend Cyndi (child star Alyssa Milano) swooping in and openly flirting with the Finney family’s dad right in front of the mum and children (he later runs off with her). The dad’s constant grumpiness at everything and everyone when he is really the one to blame for the mess the family are in. Then, there is the ridiculously weird conclusion that sees Dickie abandon his burgeoning career to be with his mum in a not-so mummy way and the kids.

The cameos are entertaining enough especially during the way-too-long and drawn out child star song at the end. Screech from Saved By The Bell, Corey Haim and Feldman, the Brady Bunch kids, Happy Days kids, Webster, Different Strokes brothers and any other child star you’ve seen pop up anywhere in recent times.

It’s all you can expect from an Adam Sandler produced comedy; a world where women are as one dimensional and stupid as they come as is just about everyone else, although the children always seems to come out with some dignity.