Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003)

by Dale on June 22, 2005

Jenna Boyd performs almost a miracle by making this otherwise appallingly bad comedy an overall enjoyable experience.

Starring:  Jenna Boyd [bio]  (10 years)
Actress Score: 
3.1 / 5
Movie Score: 
1.5 / 5
Screen Time:  large
Dickie Roberts is a comedy that doesn't make you laugh, unless you want to laugh at bad acting and writing. It does, however, have Jenna Boyd, who lights up every scene where she appears. And she appears a lot.
Once a famous child star, Dickie Roberts (David Spade) is now unemployed, approaching middle age and still dreaming of a big comeback. The opportunity appears to present itself when Dickie is offered a role in a movie. However, having missed a normal childhood, Dickie doesn't have what the role takes. To fix this shortcoming, he decides to relive his childhood, and rents himself a family for a month. The family is a comfortably normal mom, dad, two kids and a dog, living in a nice house in a sunny suburb. The father is mostly absent, and the movie revolves mostly around Dickie's interaction with his new mother and siblings. The children, a boy and a girl, are both about ten years old. The girl, Sally Finney, is played by Jenna Boyd.
A clip from the film.
While Jenna isn't written any more remarkable lines than any other characters in the movie, she effortlessly steals every scene where she appears with her sheer beauty and happy sweetness. Jenna hasn't been a bubblingly energetic or headstrong character in any of her movies, rather the opposite. In this movie, Jenna provides a pleasant, soothing contrast to Spade's endless sequence of awkward one-liners and funny faces.
Screenshot Sally and her brother.
Another way Jenna gets to show off her style is in her cheerleading audition. Her character Sally is competing against her enemy, the school's most popular and sexiest girl Heather Bolan (Ashley Edner), who is a year or two older than Jenna. Ashley utterly, definitively nails the sexy part with her performance, making the judges blush in confusion, and Sally all but despair. Sally's dance, shown next, is in comparison cuteness and innocence itself, and makes you go aww every time you see it.
The movie isn't all bad. There is couple of jokes that made me laugh, and it's a pleasant and sweet enough story. These merits wouldn't earn it more than one star in my books however. Throw in Jenna, and we're at two stars, and the final half a star comes from Ashley's remarkable dance.