In what can only be called a strange coincidence, a former child star is returning to the big screen after a nine-year hiatus Friday (September 5), the same day David Spade's parody "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" hits theaters.
Like an episode of "The Surreal Life" gone awry, "Home Alone" wunderkind Macaulay Culkin, in his first role since 1994's "Richie Rich," will take "Party Monster" head-to-head against the likes of "Saved by the Bell" nerd Dustin Diamond and "Webster" cutie Emmanuel Lewis, who appear in "Dickie Roberts."
Aside from the child-star connection, the two films have little in common.
"Dickie Roberts," executive produced by Adam Sandler, is an erratic comedy about a desperate fallen TV star who moves in with a family to relive his childhood and prepare for an audition. Spade, who co-wrote the script, stars in the title role, while Alyssa Milano plays his girlfriend and Jon Lovitz his agent. (Click for photos from "Dickie Roberts.")
Corey Feldman ("Gremlins"), Barry Williams ("The Brady Bunch") and Danny Bonaduce ("The Partridge Family") are among the real former child stars who join Diamond and Lewis in the movie.
The limited-release "Party Monster," on the other hand, is a dark drama based on the true story of a New York club mogul who admitted on television to killing his roommate and drug dealer. Set to a soundtrack of late '80s techno, the film features Culkin as Michael Alig and Wilmer Valderrama ("That '70s Show") as his boyfriend, DJ Keoki.
"It's an amazing story, very twisted and dark," Valderrama said recently.
Marilyn Manson has a small role in the film, which also includes Chloë Sevigny ("Boys Don't Cry"), Natasha Lyonne ("American Pie") and Dylan McDermott ("The Practice").
Aside from "Dickie Roberts," the only movie opening nationwide is the suspense thriller "The Order," starring the "A Knight's Tale" duo of Heath Ledger and Shannyn Sossamon. "L.A. Confidential" scribe Brian Helgeland, who wrote and directed "A Knight's Tale," also handled both duties for "The Order," which tells the story of an embittered priest who joins a female detective in investigating the death of his mentor, whose corpse is found inked with bizarre religious symbols.
Also opening in limited release is the drama "Home Room," which stars Busy Philipps ("Dawson's Creek") as the sole unharmed witness of a tragic high school shooting that leaves nine dead and one seriously injured. Victor Garber ("Alias") plays the detective investigating the case, who watches as Philipps' character forms an unlikely friendship with the other survivor, "Swimfan" star Erika Christensen.
"Dickie Roberts" and the other new releases will challenge "Jeepers Creepers 2," which earned a Labor Day weekend record $18.5 million when it debuted last weekend (see "'Creeper' Proves Scariest Of Them All At Weekend Box Office").