Charlie is constantly bullied at school and decides to invite a weightlifter to pose as his father at the father/son picnic. The lie spirals out of control and Charlie ends up the target of a kidnapping due to the weightlifter's troubled past.



(as Wayne Rice)

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2 wins. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stan Speigel
Ben Diskin ...
Jarrett Lennon ...
Frank Turner
Dane Stevens ...
Hoffs (as Duane Stephens)
Brittney Lewis ...
Christy Summerhays ...
Miss Quinn
Elisabeth Lund ...
Samantha Sandrich
Nick Murdock ...
Ralphie (as Bernie Ben Garcia)


Charlie along with a close friend of his are constantly harassed by school bullies, Charlie has a crush there that he wishes to be able to court, and has a scientist and kind but pacifistic and not particularly attractive appearing father, who is also troubled every now and then by pranksters who also work there. After some failed attempts Charlie does with his father in hopes of qualifying them for the father/son picnic competition, he decides to substitute him by going to a gym and inviting a weightlifter to pose as his father at it. One he comes across agrees to his ploy, and when the competition comes, they succeed. On a count of school pressures following that, the lie about Charlie and his dad spirals out of control and Charlie ends up at the mercy of a kidnapping due to the weightlifter's past involvement with a gang of hoodlums. By that point, not only will the whole truth have to come out to everyone sooner or later whether through Charlie confessing it or by circumstances ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He wanted a superman father... what he got was a super dad!!


Comedy | Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild violence | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Affittasi papà  »

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User Reviews

Lively family fare
3 February 1999 | by (WA) – See all my reviews

"Just Like Dad" is one of those movies that was not made for the purpose of being the next "Gone With the Wind", but rather it was made to provide its audience with a decent, entertaining story, and it does a pretty good job of that. In the film: a twelve-year-old kid who is ashamed of his wimpy father(Wallace Shawn), meets and befriends a kindly man who happens to be somewhat handsome and very athletic, and somehow he convinces this man to pretend to be his father at a school picnic. After this works quite well, the boy's scheme deepens, and of course he runs into some trouble along the way and this makes him learn that there is nobody he would rather be like than his dad. It's a simple story, that has some entertaining comedic moments on the side, such as the boys "stand-in" father out-smarting some bullies. It also features tender performances by Shawn, director Nick Cassavettes, as the "stand-in" father, Ben Diskin(?)as the boy, and Jarrett Lennon as his friend. An odd sub-plot involving computers somewhat lessons the story, and a few of the scenes between Shawn and Diskin are a little bit too melodramatic, but all in all, it's not a bad movie. It tends to pop up on the Disney channel, and should be given at least one viewing.

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