David Spade gets the shaft. Maybe it's because he came of age with the last SNL cast to actually do something with their lives -- Chris Rock may never be Bill Cosby, but he'd beat Horatio Sans in any laugh-off know to man. Still, David Spade can be a funny guy, sometimes.

So it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star is a reasonably amusing movie... but it does. It's not spectacular, but it has its moments, and that is really all its genre requires it to have -- those four or five or six times when all the fourteen year old boys in the theater and 27 percent of the other people just cannot stop themselves from laughing. It's no Tommy Boy but it's also no Joe Dirt (and it has God to thank for that).

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star 3 of 5 stars Directed by: Sam Weisman Starring: David Spade Rated: PG-13

The film, about Dickie Roberts (Spade) a former child star who believes he must hire a family in order to enable him to live out a normal childhood so that Rob Reiner (played by the Rein-stone himself) will give him a part in his next movie, is at its best when providing cameos for child stars of long ago. Its final song, "Child Stars on Your Television," performed by a chorus of formal stars, is only slightly short of brilliant. Certainly not a film for the ages -- but a person never really tires of seeing Emmanuel Lewis make fun of himself, does one? -- Yona Silverman


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