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Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jan
Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star
from Film Forum, 09/18/03

David Spade of TV's Just Shoot Me stars in this comedy of a forgotten celebrity who tries to win his way back into the spotlight and discovers what success is really all about.

Religious press critics are usually quick to condemn the simple, crowdpleasing comedies that feature Saturday Night Live alumni. Indeed, most of those movies are merely crass, crudely crafted, and formulaic. But this moved some of them to offer a few compliments.

Tom Snyder (Movieguide) says, "Parts of this movie show viewers that fame is fleeting and that love and family are more important than career. Other parts of the movie contain mostly light foul language, crude humor and other objectionable elements."

David DiCerto (CNS) calls it an "unexpectedly entertaining comedy."

Michael Medved (Crosswalk) says, "The set-up for the movie … makes no sense and feels so flimsy, complex and convoluted that the movie nearly collapses in its opening half hour." But he finds that in the end, it "achieves an unexpected emotional resonance."

Cliff Vaughn (EthicsDaily) says, "Amid the jokes and pop culture references is a positive message about love and things that really matter. Roberts can kick-start some meaningful reflection about the nature of celebrity, especially childhood celebrity."

Holly McClure (Crosswalk) is dissatisfied: "Although there are a few funny moments in this waste of a movie, there aren't enough to redeem the story or the idea."

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) writes, "The filmmakers didn't commit to the feel good family picture that it clearly wants to be. It's too bad because it had the potential of delivering a message that we can never hear enough. Love that comes from a family's bond is a much desired thing."

Most mainstream critics agree with Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times): "There are laughs, to be sure, and some gleeful supporting performances, but after a promising start the movie sinks in a bog of sentiment."