Movie Review: Fun With Dick And Jane (2005)

Fun With Dick And Jane with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni is a remake of an original movie released in 1977, which I haven’t seen: therefore this review will judge this movie on its own. Dick and Jane are a normal couple living in suburban America dealing with their fairly usual problems: 2 mortgages, a kid who’s a bit too emerged in the Hispanic culture and friendly competition with their neighbors (Actually, it looks similar to Kansas City!). Right after Dick is promoted to VP of Communications at Globodyne, his company goes under after its CEO siphons its assets and then dumps its stock rendering the company and the pension plan worthless. With the crash of local housing market and 6,000 people suddenly unemployed, Dick and Jane resort to theft to support the family. Starting small with drinking a slurpee without paying, they quickly move up the echelon of theft, ending up at a bank robbery where they watch a coworker try and fail to rob the same bank they were trying to rob. In the end, they learn the truth about what happened to Globodyne and plan to steal $400 million of ex-CEO’s money.

Fun With Dick And JaneUnfortunately for the movie, it feels as if it’s just 1 gag after another without a great payoff at the end. If I compare this movie to another light-hearted flick involving a robbery at the end, it reminded me of Ocean’s Eleven (I know it’s a stretch but just bear with me). Ocean’s Eleven was strictly about 1 incredibly complex casino vault robbery and the whole movie served as introduction to major characters and basically execution of their carefully thought-out plan, which made the movie interesting to watch. Of course having so many of A-list actors doesn’t hurt. In the case of Fun With Dick and Jane, they devise a plan to steal the Jack’s money, and it is more complex than just a “switch”. But the gags until this great robbery don’t advance the plot any more than a simple line of text explaining the situation.

If the popular TV show Family Guy taught anything, it’s that gags don’t need to relate to or advance the storyline in order to be funny. Except the gags here are nothing to laugh at: Dick and Jane resort to unsavory ways to support their lives (working amongst illegal aliens and cosmetics test subject) eventually resorting to theft. Sometimes few laughs are there but most of the times, you can only feel sorry for the characters instead of laughing at their predicament. Ultimately, the subject matter of families who lost all their investments, job, and the ever critical sense of security due to corporate misgoverning and greedy executives, may be still too serious and fresh in our minds to carelessly laugh at them. Even this movie alludes to the corporate problems at Enron, Worldcom and the others that disappeared, but this is not a tribute to those workers since it prods fun at them. Instead of aiming to be an allegory of our times, it should do something simpler: try to be funnier.

Rating: full starfull star (2 out of 5)

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