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ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG-13

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
September 4, 2003
43 out of 100

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UPDATED September 4, 2003
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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG-13 -- ...this comment was not speaking to Jesus' vocation..

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Happy Madison
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Sam Weisman, Producer(s): Blair Breard, Jack Giarraputo, Adam Sandler, Fred Wolf
Written by/Screenplay: Fred Wolf, David Spade
Cinematography/Camera: Thomas E. Ackerman
Music: Christophe Beck
Film Editing: Roger Bondelli
Casting: John Papsidera
Production Design: Dina Lipton
Art Direction: Marc Dabe
Viewed At: Dritwood Theater 6

Dickie Roberts (David Spade) is a has-been. Once a very popular child star, Dickie has become little more than a memory. Rob Reiner (himself) has a movie coming up, "Blake's Backyard" that has a perfect part for Dickie to regain his fame. But Reiner feels Dickie has lost something he never had - a childhood which is essential to conveying some of the portrayals in the film. Dickie's mom left him as soon as his fame left. While famous, Dickie always had everything he wanted and could do whatever he wanted. When his mom left, Dickie had to grow up fast. So, Dickie has never had the formative discipline and structure necessary for healthy development. [Prov. 29:15]

Dickie's agent, Sidney (Jon Lovitz) gives Dickie the idea to hire an average American family with two kids and live with the family for a month to discover what it is to be a child.. The Tracy family consists of dad, George (Craig Bierko); mom, Grace (Mary McCormack); little sister, Sally (Jenna Boyd), about 10; older brother, Sam (Scott Terra), about 12. The ideal American family. George agrees to the deal -- for $20,000 -- behind mom's back, but mom slowly warms up to the idea since the Tracy's are just about broke because, according to George, Grace spent all their money learning to become an Interior Decorator. What a man, this George. Not only does he unfairly place too much burden on his wife, he leaves his family for a younger woman. The All-American family, huh? Not according to God's Plan. [Eph. 5:22 - 33]

Many shenanigans happen in the show once Dickie settles in to the family life. Some vulgar, brutal and rude-n-crude but some touching and delightful. Alas, such is the formula for much of modern entertainment today. Embed the assaults on ethics and morality in a warm and moving theme to attempt to beautify the ignominy. Well, that is why we are here. To let you know of these matters so you can be in a better position to make an informed decision whether a film is or is not fit for your family before you sit through the film.

Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star is yet another "R-13" . As with the PG-13 Matchstick Men and many other PG-13 movies, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star is R-13 not so much because of the severity of the issues of assault on morality and decency but the sheer density of them -- an example of our Rule of 1000. The CAP Rule of 1000 states a movie with only 10 examples of extreme bad behaviors worth 100 "bads" each (such as a movie rated R) is just as bad as a movie with 100 examples of lesser bad behaviors worth only ten "bads" each (such as a PG-13 movie). They both fit the Rule of 1000. They are both R-equivalent. [1Cor. 15:33] So is Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. With R-rated movies earning scores of 54 and below out of 100, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star earned a score of 43.

The largest causes of the low score for a PG-13 are the zero scores in the Impudence/Hate and Sexual Immorality investigation areas. the Impudence/Hate score was zero for the most part due to foul language, much of it by the young kids in the cast. [Prov. 8:13] In the closing credits, several former child stars appear to perform a song of praise to child stars. One of them was Maureen McCormick, a.k.a Marsha Brady of "The Brady Bunch." Maureen was the only one to use the most foul of the foul words and only once. [Col. 3:8] Sexual humor and innuendo, comments and talk were thick and sometimes vulgar. [1Ths. 4:2-5] One time Dickie admits to homosexual experimentation. Twice, some character says "Is it hot in here" then takes off his shirt and outlines his breasts with his fingertips. One of those two times was initiated with a homosexual kiss. Dickie tells Sally and Sam "Your mother's hot!"

In another skit, Dickie takes the camera of a fan who wants to take a picture of Dickie and shoves it in his pants then clicks off a few shots of his private member. And we are close enough to it to see the positioning of the camera and its flashes through Dickie's clothing. Much of the sexual humor was directed at or involved Jenna Boyd and Scott Terra. And one little girl about 11 or 12 presented a very sensuous cheer routine more befitting of a strip club stage. I wonder what God thinks about the people responsible for coaching the little girl to do that? [1Cor. 6:9-10] Probably not much more than He thought of the ones who wote, who paid Spade to say and Spade himself to say "Nail that ... like Jesus the carpenter." I am not sure what filled the ellipsis when Spade said that, but it certainly got a reaction from the audience in this Bible belt state. Everyone clearly knew this comment was not speaking to Jesus' vocation but to mocking His suffering. It was a mockery of He who spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there. [Gal. 6:7]

The one verse that seems to scream of application to this movie throughout was Luke 17:2 that warns of woe for they who teach and/or cause His little ones to sin.

I leave the full listing of findings to the Findings/Scoring section of this report -- the heart of the CAP Analysis Model.

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If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Prov. 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.
  • Eph. 5:22 - 33 Wives [female], submit yourselves unto your own husbands [male], as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • 1Ths. 4:2-5 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body [which includes drives] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the [unforgiven] wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Gal. 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.


    Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • boxing violence
  • gambling
  • car theft
  • tantrum with property damage
  • falsifying fire alarm
  • assault

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 33 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, many of which were uttered by or near young children
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • euphemisms of vulgar expressions, some by or before children, repeatedly
  • massive tattoos
  • talking of R-rated movies in a PG-13 in a way that knowledge of them would require having seen them, clearly pointing at underage kids attending R-rated movies
  • "You never get anywhere unless you bend the rules a little bit"
  • teaching young kids "secret way to swear" and kids doing it, repeatedly
  • euphemisms of foul words by children, repeatedly
  • vulgar gesture to kids
  • lies
  • vulgar gesture
  • father/husband abandonment

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • talking to kids about their mother in a vulgar way, e.g., "Your mother's hot."
  • taking pictures of own male privates by inserting camera in pants
  • admission of homosexual experimentation
  • excessive cleavage - young teen, repeatedly
  • several forms of crude sexual, toilet and vulgar humor
  • camera angle to force viewer on to private parts, repeatedly
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • sexual invitation
  • homosexual vulgar mannerisms (outlining breasts with fingertips) twice, once after a homosexual kiss
  • magazine porn
  • sexual offer
  • a young girl calling another young girl "slut", repeatedly
  • vulgar cheer routine by 11 or 12 year old girl that was more befitting of a strip club stage
  • excessive breast exposure to entice and before children
  • suggestive eye movements

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • booze
  • offering beer to young kids

    Offense to God (O)
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 15 without, many my and/or before children
  • "Nail that ... like Jesus the carpenter."

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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