Once, he was on top of the world as a popular child actor on TV. Now, he's Hollywood's punchline about everything wrong with people who were famous as children. All Dickie Roberts wants to do is find that one gig that will restore his honor and everyone's love of him, so after learning that Rob Reiner's making an ambitious new movie destined to sweep the Oscars, Dickie's first in line to audition. He walks out having learned he certainly looks the part but can't act it... yet, owing to his very unusual childhood. To research the role, Dickie embarks on a bizarre scheme to live with a suburban family to see how the average American child lives, having them put him up as their "son". But once his gloves are off, Dickie discovers how great it is to be part of a true family, and whether he gets the part or not, his attempt at method acting will certainly change his life forever.Written by
Co-Writers Fred Wolf and David Spade originally wrote a skit in the 1990s for Saturday Night Live (1975) about a child star rampage, spoofing The Silence of the Lambs (1991), for when Macaulay Culkin was hosting, but it was cut. The idea was later pitched for The WB, but they turned it down. It was eventually re-written and turned into this movie, originally written as a dark comedy with more references to drug use by child stars. See more »
When Dickie is taking pictures in his pants, he moves the camera around but the flash does not move. See more »
David Spade is one of my fave SNL stars and he's made better movies than the rest of his old pals (It's Pat, Coneheads and Master of Disguise are among the worst films ever made). I especially liked him as the voice of Kuzko in the Emperor's New Groove. Here he plays Dickie Roberts: (former) Child Star, a kid at the top, but a man at the bottom and absolutely desperate for a comeback.
His agent (John Lovitz) cannot find him any work outside of celebrity boxing, his girlfriend has dumped him and Dickie's main source of income is parking cars. You get the picture, he's a completely fallen star.
Rob Reiner has a role that Dickie would love to get his hands on but Rob wont touch him because it requires an actor who knows 'normal', someone who knows how to be an adult, someone who had a proper childhood. Desperate to get the part, Dickie hires an ordinary middle-class family (dedicated mum, workaholic dad, bullied son, wishful daughter) to look after him like proper parents.
Trouble naturally follows. But Dickie's hijinks lessen and his new family's tolerance increases. Yes, they do learn from each other and become better people (yadda yadda) but there is just so much fun and craziness along the way and some genuine character moments.
There are loads of celebrity cameos (Tom Arnold, Corey Feldman, Brendan Fraser, Dustin Diamond) and lots of biting satire and the movie industry but the bulk of the film relies upon Dickie learning family values and having fun with the kids, being a kid. Proof positive that he's still the best (former) SNL star.
The only bad thing I can mention is Adam Sandler's involvement as executive producer, something that seriously tarnishes the film and prevents it from having any real class.
The DVD is in great looking 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound and quite a few extras.
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