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Rated 3.07 stars
by 227 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
An Important Request
by Betty Jo Tucker

I always look forward to a Michael Caine movie. This veteran actor is one of my all-time favorites. That’s why Dear Dictator disappointed me so much. Caine plays General Anton Vincent, a British-Carribbean dictator who gets overthrown in his island country, escapes and hides out in the home of an American teenage girl. Why did he pick this particular girl? A very good question!

Well, they have been pen pals since the teenager wrote to him as an assignment for one of her high school classes. So far, so good. That situation seems loaded with comic possibilities. Unfortunately, comedy fails to materialize on screen. Silly scenes overwhelm the story. But viewers who think that a dentist with a foot fetish and teens singing “rape” every other word are funny might find this type of humor entertaining.  

Also, it’s not easy to warm up to any of the characters. Tatiana (Odeya Rush), the teenager, acts like a wannabe rebel and dresses accordingly. Her mom Darlene (Katie Holmes) is a man-crazy single parent who thinks she’s in love with her dentist boss (Seth Green). The dictator (Caine) fixes things around the house and tries to help Tatiana and Darlene with their individual problems. His strategy for how Tatiana should deal with the mean girls at school is particularly ridiculous and offensive.     

However, nothing comes across as believable here, which is very strange, especially where Caine is concerned.

Consequently, I can’t help making an important request, as explained in the poem below.                       

Come back to us, real Michael Caine.

Dear Dictator caused this fan pain.

Miscast you are indeed, dear Sir.

Please keep your splendid acting pure.


No uniform or beard grown wild

can fool a man, woman or child.

We’ve watched your films for many years.

You’ve made us laugh and cry sad tears.


And all the time we’ve felt you’re real

while you manage the show to steal.

So please don’t quit. We need you so.

Just let roles like “Dictator” go.

Because of his wonderful performances in films like Alfie, Educating Rita, Secondhand Lions, The Ipcress Files, The Man Who Would Be King, Last Love, The Quiet American, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Going in Style and many more, two-time Oscar winner (for Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules) Michael Caine deserves applause and acclaim. I feel certain he will bounce back after Dear Dictator.        

(Released by Cinedigm Entertainment Group. Not rated by MPAA.)

For more information about Dear Dictator, please go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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