A high school slacker who's rejected by every school he applies to opts to create his own institution of higher learning, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, on a rundown piece of property near his hometown.
TV child star of the '70s, Dickie Roberts is now 35 and parking cars. Craving to regain the spotlight, he auditions for a role of a normal guy, but the director quickly sees he is anything but normal. Desperate to win the part, Dickie hires a family to help him replay his childhood and assume the identity of an average, everyday kid. Several folk who are also involved in Dickie's special world include: Sidney, Dickie's longtime friend and agent; Cyndi, his on-again, off-again girlfriend; Peggy, Dickie's real mother; George, Dickie's adopted father figure; and Grace, his adopted mother figure. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Sally's "Brick wall, waterfall" routine was something Jenna Boyd was doing on the set between takes. The filmmakers liked it and worked it into the script - twice. See more »
Dickie is not wearing his gloves while he is making fun of Sam's bullies. It is not until several minutes later in the movie that Gracy Finney convinces him to get rid of his gloves permanently. See more »
Former child star David Spade (as "Dickie" Roberts) wants to be famous again. The once popular pre-teen best remembered for coining the catchphrase, "This is nucking futs!" parks cars and participates in a boxing match with Emmanuel Lewis, who aims for Mr. Spade's putz and nuts. Spade plays cards with other washed-up child stars. He probably should have trained with Danny Bonaduce. After receiving a tip from Leif (pronounced "Life") Garrett, the comeback-minded Spade visits Meatloaf-turned-movie-mogul Rob Reiner to discuss an audition. Things go bad when Spade is unable to convey a childhood emotion. Surmising this is because he never had a proper childhood, Spade hires a typical suburban family to "adopt" him...
Spade learns how to act from little "brother" Scott Terra (as Sam Finney) and "sister" Jenna Boyd (as Sally Finney). He learns how to ride a bicycle and admires beautifully-shaped "mother" Mary McCormack (as Grace).
The acting "family" and Jon Lovitz (as Sidney Wernick) are fine. The story takes a few left turns and lessons are learned. How awful this film is may depend on how familiar you are with the many celebrities and "Hollywood" references herein. Or, it may not. Everything is wrapped up with a group sing-a-long in the "We Are the World" style. It somehow manages to be threatening, embarrassing, inaccurate and revelatory. All ends up so wretched it must be remembered this is a comedy - although it's hard to laugh with your jaw on the floor.
** Dickie Roberts, Former Child Star (9/3/03) Sam Weisman ~ David Spade, Scott Terra, Jenna Boyd, Mary McCormack
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