Feb 02, 2006|
There are plenty of hilarious, timely zingers in Fun With Dick And Jane, so don’t believe the purists who call it a pointless remake of the 1977 Jane Fonda original. Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni take on unemployed-yuppies-on-a-crime-spree with unbridled glee, the biggest flaw being you never quite take their plight that seriously.
Carrey is Dick Harper, a corporate cog who, at the beginning of the film. is in line for a promotion. He’s appointed vice president of communications by the jet set CEO Jack (deliciously portrayed by Alec Baldwin) of the Globadyne Corporation. The financial raise means wife Jane (a likeable Leoni) can finally quit her job and again after a long lull, as she says it, “We can have sex!” “I’ll go pick up the new Starbucks sampler featuring Sade,” he responds. The year is 2000 and all is good in their yuppified BMW world. That is, until a day later, when on a CNN Moneytalks-type program, Harper is confronted with Globadyne’s calamitous Enron-styled collapse. Cue in the slow, looming death of the couple’s American Dream, but not before writers Nicholas Stoller and Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin) throw in plenty of wealth disparity gags about Wal-Mart employees, Mexican migrant workers and bad experimental medical treatments.
With eviction from their house looming, Dick decides to rob local convenience stores in a bid to preserve the way of life their family (including their young Spanish-speaking son) have become accustomed to. What follows are several hilarious stick up scenes including a laugh-out-loud, bumbling moment at a Starbucks and disguises that are ripe with popular cultural references. Played for laughs, the only drawback to this is that much of the film has the tension of cheap toilet paper. It’s obvious—especially Carrey and Baldwin—that they’re doing their best to use humor to camouflage their deadly serious social commentary. Underneath the laughs though, there’s little sense of reality.
A fine cast of behind-the-scenes veterans including Variety editor Peter Bart and Brian Grazer clearly put a distinct stamp on this fine premise.