Parents' Guide to

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Not at all funny David Spade movie.

Movie PG-13 2003 99 minutes
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Funny Classic I Just Can't Quit

A hilarious movie that is not appropriate for kids under 13 but actuallly has a lot of heart. If you were a fan of any 80s or 90s sitcom this movie is a must-watch. No joke, this movie shaped a lot of my humor as a teenager. I'm now in my late 20s. While I do realize David Spade's comedy is not for kids, this movie does has a nice message. It shows Spade's character, a jaded child star that grew up too fast in the Hollywood child mill, learning to become more wholesome and gain a child-like innocence before the movie's end.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (13):

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.

Movie Details

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