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The Week Ahead

Spade, Culkin look to jump-start careers

September 01, 2003|Robert Welkos

Two actors whose once-climbing show business careers seemed to have derailed -- David Spade and Macaulay Culkin -- are each returning to the big screen this weekend.

An Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for his role as Dennis Finch, the wisecracking, power-hungry assistant on "Just Shoot Me," and well-known from his five-year-stint on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," Spade returns to movies in Paramount Pictures' comedy "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star." Spade plays a former child actor who is convinced his star will rise again if only he can ace an audition.

Culkin, a real former child star whose acting career reached its zenith in the blockbuster "Home Alone" comedies, has often been fodder for the tabloids. In a 180-degree turn from those family-friendly comedies, Culkin plays the title character in Strand Releasing's "Party Monster," a crime drama based on a true story.

Spade's star was rising as he teamed in the mid-1990s with his "SNL" sidekick, the late Chris Farley, in "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep." His last film outing, the 2001 comedy "Joe Dirt," grossed a mere $27.1 million domestically.

Culkin, who departed Hollywood after starring in 1994's "Richie Rich" ($38 million), plays a coked-out gay killer in "Party Monster." A BBC reviewer called the movie "camp, trashy and altogether too silly for its own good, only proving that 23-year-old Culkin is far from leaving childish things behind."

It's clearly not easy being a former child star.

-- Robert Welkos

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