Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

  • Review Date: February 13, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003

Common Sense Media says

Not at all funny David Spade movie.
  • Review Date: February 13, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lots of crude humor.


Accidents are played for laughs. Comic peril.


Leering sexual humor.


Very strong and crude language for a PG-13.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

References to alcohol and drug abuse.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's lots of stuff here that you won't want your tween seeing or repeating. This movie contains very strong language for a PG-13, including crude humor, alcohol and drug references, and a joke about Jesus that some people may find offensive.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Dickie Roberts was the son of an overbearing mother who pushed him to be the child star of a hugely successful TV show called The Glimmer Gang, complete with a precious tagline ("This is nucking futs!") that propelled him into stardom and had him washed up by the time he was seven. Fighting to get back in the business, he begs director Rob Reiner to cast him in a role that Sean Penn is competing for. When Reiner tells Dickie that he's unsuitable for the part because he has no idea of what it's like to have a normal childhood, Dickie puts an ad in the paper to find a family that will let him move into their house and live like a kid, as one character says, to "reboot him like a computer."

Is it any good?


DICKIE ROBERTS: FORMER CHILD STAR just isn't a very funny movie. At best, audiences who don't think too much will laugh once or twice then forget the whole thing before they reach the door of the theater. Of course the premise makes no sense, but then the way it's carried out doesn't make any sense either. It's just a string of listless skits. The movie feels haphazard and thrown together, with a bike-riding scene that ends up like a Jackass stunt and a disturbingly Oedipal "your mom's hot" running joke. Just to show how lazy this film is, when Dickie gets back on the scene, instead of writing something funny, they use old footage of David Spade on Jay Leno's show, on the cover of Rolling Stone, and performing with Aerosmith. Or maybe that was in hopes of reminding us that despite this movie, David Spade is actually a pretty cool guy.

There are a few moments that remind you how talented Spade is, particularly when he spouts off smart-aleck remarks, but they are more suitable for stand-up routines than for depiction on screen with other actors. His insults to some school bullies would be funnier if we didn't see him actually using that language to people who are, after all, children. The movie seems to applaud him not just for crudely insulting children, but also for making a fake 911 call and giving someone the finger. Episodes like giving a bath to a dead rabbit, applauding "Mom" for rudely telling off an imperious neighbor, the exchange of a kidney transplant for an audition, and hitting someone in the head with a champagne cork are sour and weird. Ultimately, though, the movie's lame humor is less painful than the supposedly touching material about how love is all that really matters.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about some of their favorite child stars and what they would and would not like about being famous.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 5, 2003
DVD release date:February 17, 2004
Cast:David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Mary McCormack
Director:Sam Weisman
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:crude and sex-related humor, language and drug references

This review of Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byCurbspaget April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Kid, 11 years old Written bykevin April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Teen, 15 years old Written byski123 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Bad Movie

All of the humor in this movie not appropriate for children under 13 years old. The language is very strong, and the jokes are rude and are sex-related.
Skip this movie.


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