Dec 302005

Fun with Dick and Jane (1977)

When an upwardly mobile couple find themselves unemployed and in debt, they turn to armed robbery in desperation.

Directed by
Ted Kotcheff


George Segal, Jane Fonda, Ed McMahon, Richard Gautier, Allan Miller, Hank Garcia, John Dehner, Mary Jackson, Walter Brooke, Sean Frye, James Jeter, Maxine Stuart, Fred Willard, Selma Archard, John Brandon

Lay and I went to see this film Tuesday night. It’s about Dick Harper (Carrey) and Jane Harper (Leoni) who are looking forward to a spectacular future in their suburban life when Dick gets a promotion at his corporate job. Unfortunately, the job lasts less than 48 hours, when his boss (Baldwin) takes the company down with him in a scandal that sends all the employees into bankruptcy. Unable to find suitable work, they resort to selling almost everything in their house. Eventually, however, that plan runs thin when they run out of things to sell. With no food and practically nothing in their house, Dick and Jane turn to robbery and crime to pay their bills.

I’m sure the everybody involved in the production of this movie knows there’s a good movie in here somewhere, but nobody seems to find it.

In a world filled with remakes, sequels, and sequels to remakes, here comes Fun with Dick and Jane, a frantic, discordant remake that only stays as passable due to Carrey’s wacky and cheery sense of comedy. He does his best to keep the material light and funny, but he falls short unfortunately.

The major problem is Dick and Jane doesn’t have the timing or goofiness to work as slapstick, and isn’t clever enough to work as satire. While the movie is goofy, it is typical Carrey. Given the cast, I laughed, but given the cast and the potential of the story line, I didn’t laugh nearly enough.

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