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Week of September 3, 2003

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Sam Weisman. David Spade's Dickie is a has-been kiddie star who believes himself a real actor and can't believe others don't take him seriously -- most of all Rob Reiner, who's casting a role Dickie desperately wants but can never get because he doesn't know how to be "normal." To deprogram himself, Dickie moves in with a family: kindly mom Mary McCormack, sleazy pop Craig Bierko and their movie-cute kids, played by Scott Terra and Jenna Boyd. Of course, the whole wholesome lot teaches Dickie how to be human, while Dickie turns out to be a decent father figure; when the movie's not playing stupid, it's aiming for sickly sweet sincerity. It's such a jarring and inevitably juvenile juxtaposition that it comes off like a Hallmark card parody written by the staffers at Cracked. It's also more than a little creepy when Dickie, initially trying to get in touch with a lost childhood, winds up romancing his "mother"; it's an Oedipus wreck. Not half as funny as Fox's Celebrity Boxing. Opens Friday, September 5, at multiple locations. (Robert Wilonsky)

Friday Night Claire Denis. Opens Friday, September 5, at the Tivoli. Reviewed this issue.

The Order Brian Helgeland. Heath Ledger plays a priest who is sent to Rome to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the head of his religious order. The remains are adorned in strange markings, which may be the sign of a "Sin Eater." Opens Friday, September 5, at multiple locations. NR

thirteen Catherine Hardwicke. Opens Friday, September 5, at the Plaza Frontenac. Reviewed this issue.

 
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