Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

Dickie Roberts is the movie to see if you enjoy watching things with an audience that isn't paying the slightest bit of attention. I can't really blame them. Most of the people there were under 16. They were really too busy down front congregating in some sort of weird after-school mixer. I think I was the only person who even bothered to look at the screen. Had I been younger, I'd have probably given up and just joined the party. Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star isn't terrible, just irrelevant. It is also the best solo work of a very lost comedian named David Spade.

Dickie Roberts stars David Spade as former child star Dickie Roberts. Washed up and used up before he even turned 12, Dickie is now grown up and parking cars of legitimate stars. On the weekends, he hangs around with other washed-up child actors and pokes fun at more successful celebrities. In a particularly poignant scene, Dickie plays poker with a bevy of ex-has-beens and questions the popularity of Brad Pitt.

But bagging on Anniston's boy toy is not a satisfying life. So Dickie dreams of jumpstarting his career and is willing to do just about anything to make that happen. The gimmick for the purposes of this film is that he must somehow re-live the childhood he missed out on, to get the starring role of a lifetime.

Dickie hires a family. Well, actually he pays a hefty sum to join a family already in progress. Fortunately for the plot, the mother is hot and the father is absent and looking to cheat, so that gives Dickie Roberts' writers an easy out for their ending. I'm sure you can guess where they went with it.

Mary McCormack, is as always, luminous in her role as Dickie's pay-for-play mother. She attempts to bring some sort of credibility to the film, something which she achieved in Howard Stern's Private Parts but cannot really do here with such (by comparison) inferior material. She's watchable though, which really sums up just about everything that happens in her house while she and the kids play host to Dickie. The best gags were in the film's trailer, yet the setup is better when you see them as part of a whole.

Poor Jon Lovitz gives up a kidney to make this film work, but Dickie Roberts just didn't fully respond. This is Spade's best effort in a long line of really bad solo projects, but the best parts of his film feature washed up actors and have nothing at all to do with him. It's lightly humorous and not despicable. So if you want to sit in an air-conditioned room and watch something you don't necessarily have to pay attention to, Dickie Roberts may be the right not-to-painful experience for you.