Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star

Bomb Rating: 

It's a miracle David Spade isn't shoveling horse manure somewhere for minimum wage, because that's what he'd surely be doing if he weren't starring in feature films. The excitement preceding a David Spade film is akin to the excitement preceding a traffic jam -- most of us look for some way around it.

Everything this film is about is captured in the title, which is as much as anyone should want to know. Spade plays a former child star whose catch-phrase, "That's nuckin' futs," was all the rage back in the '80s. Now, he's a loser trying to revive his career. It's the role Spade was born to play.

With a part in the latest Rob Reiner film at stake, Dickie shacks up with a family to rediscover the childhood he never had. What he discovers instead are two of the most nausea-inducing kids this side of "Teen Idol" and the hottest mother (Mary McCormack) in L.A. Viewers will not be surprised to learn that Spade buddy Adam Sandler co-produced the film, which makes its regurgitation of the "Billy Madison" script rather curious.

When "Dickie Roberts" goes poignant on us, it's time to conclude that the filmmakers have the same regard for genuine emotion that they do for interns. Working up concern for David Spade should be an Olympic event, given its extreme difficulty. There hasn't been a decathlete in the history of the sport who broke a bigger sweat than me trying to generate some sympathy during "Dickie Roberts."

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