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1 review, 8 user ratings

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by Jack Sommersby

"An Ultra-Lame Star Vehicle"
1 stars

Grossing less than $15 million during its U.S. theatrical run, it no doubt suffered from terrible word-of-mouth.

Ladybugs is a particularly depressing experience, and not just because it's striven to be as inoffensively "safe" as a movie can possibly be, but for wasting the considerable comedic prowess of Rodney Dangerfield, whose first starring role this is since the excellent Back to School six years prior where he played a genuine character of some dimension. That mini-classic was directed by Alan Metter, who gave the proceedings timing and agility (and who gave Dangerfield an enjoyable cameo role in his follow-up effort, the fine Richard Pryor comedy Moving); here, that undistinguished director-for-hire Sidney J. Furie, who's mostly blown cold (Iron Eagle) with the occasional lukewarm (The Entity), has given this lackluster material all the panache of an industrial-training video -- he surrenders to it as if he knew it were a hopeless lost cause when signing on to it. But Dangerfield, with no kicking and screaming, agreed to this as well, and his role as Chester Lee, a confidence-lacking sales associate in a major corporation who agrees to coach his boss' junior-league girl's soccer team in the hope of achieving a winning season and ensuring him a promotion, affords him very little opportunity to strut his considerable stuff. The team, of course, is made up of total incompetents, and Chester, who knows nothing of soccer fundamentals, enlists the aid of his fiancee's fifteen-year-old soccer ace son, Matthew (neither-here-nor-there Jonathan Brandis). Knowing that mere sideline tips and pointers won't do the job, Chester has him don a blonde wig and masquerade as team member "Martha," and the Ladybugs start racking up some wins. Yet where can the moviemakers go with such a trumped-up story premise? Exactly nowhere. At one point Dangerfield himself dons a wig and dress, to no avail. And since the soccer games themselves haven't been engineered with the avidity so we'd care how they turn out, the movie has nothing to fall back on. Dangerfield lets loose with some of his customary quips, but they're lightweight truffles, stale leftovers from his stand-up days. (In the opening scene, a motivational speaker even uses some of them. Did Dangerfield loan these out or at least get residuals?) The developing romance between Matthew and the boss' daughter is sorta sweet, and the message that winning isn't everything is admittedly welcome in our win-at-any-cost society, but Ladybugs never manages to get past the half-field mark.

Rent "Back to School" instead.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2680&reviewer=327
originally posted: 07/19/13 08:10:33
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User Comments

5/11/06 Sugarfoot Rodney can't get no respect...and movies like this are why. 1 stars
2/18/05 Jeff Anderson Dangerfield is still very funny & a joy to watch, but I was appalled how BAD THIS FILM WAS! 1 stars
2/01/04 jmsynth Not a career highlight for Rodney (probably 4 the others though!), but some laughs 3 stars
3/30/03 Jack This crap is what the studios think they can pass off a funny, well it's not 1 stars
11/24/02 Charles Tatum Viewerbugged 1 stars
4/04/01 Andrew Carden Rodney is so damn funny. The movie just can't get over a weak script. 3 stars
1/14/01 Sklorsh The movie is bad, but Rodney is still so damn funny. 3 stars
4/11/00 lucas jackson I did not know rodney could go so low 2 stars
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  27-Mar-1992 (PG-13)
  DVD: 25-Jul-2006


  06-Jul-1992 (PG)

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