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4 reviews, 23 user ratings

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Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)
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by brianorndorf

"Carrey saves it from doom"
4 stars

“Fun with Dick and Jane” is a terribly light comedy, looking to take on very real world concerns. This post-Enron farce only really comes alive due to Jim Carrey’s efforts, as the comic seems obsessed to keep the film as silly as it can get. There are big laughs, and the film is amiable enough, just don’t go in expecting too much from it.

Living the comfortable suburban life, Dick (Jim Carrey) and Jane (Téa Leoni) are facing a rosy future when Dick gets a promotion at his corporate job. Sadly, the job only lasts a day, when his boss (Alec Baldwin) takes the massive company down with him in a scandal that sends all the employees to the poor house. Unable to find suitable work, and faced with losing all their belongings, Dick and Jane turn to armed robbery to pay their bills, where they find satisfaction sticking it back to society, and renewed vigor in their drab unemployed lives.

As he matures into a comic legend, Jim Carrey has been awfully careful where he lays his funny. “Fun with Dick and Jane” is the second comedy from Carrey in recent memory in which he wants to tickle the funny bone and, at the same time, have the audience meditate on some serious issues. The blend of drama and comedy slammed the breaks on the good times found in “Bruce Almighty;” while “Jane” is a far sillier film, it does feature Carrey trying to be Ace Ventura and Tom Hanks all at once. For Carrey, I’m not sure that mixture of pathos and pratfalls is ever going to work the way he dreams it will.

“Jane” is a remake of the 1977 comedy, starring George Segal and Jane Fonda. The update removes the 70s-era trimmings of yuppie aspirations, to a Clinton-era, Starbucks-n-Enron world (the film is set in 2000). The modifications do give the new “Jane” a fresh purpose, but will audiences pay to see a depressing snapshot of their own lives? That’s where Carrey comes in, and he’s in a particularly sunny mood for this film. The screenplay only takes the premise so far, so it’s up to Carrey (who also produces) to add the seasoning. Though hardly inspired work, Carrey does his best adding jokes and quirks constantly to keep the material funny and fluffy, when director Dean Parisot (“Galaxy Quest”) appears perplexed on how to arrange the material in a straight line.

“Jane” mines Carrey’s gifts for physical comedy well, and his chemistry with Téa Leoni gives the picture a strong matrimonial tie to it that’s believable. The acting team does a convincing job selling their dire financial straights and unemployed aggravation, making the leap to armed robbery not nearly as ridiculous as it sounds. Once there through, Parisot gets a little too grabby with the silliness, dressing up Dick and Jane in pop culture disguises (The Blues Brothers, Sonny & Cher) in a bid for wackiness that takes viewers right out of the film and into an “SNL” sketch. Better ideas, such as Dick’s accidental Mexican deportation, his violent attempts at greeting at the local Wal-Mart stand-in, and Jane’s volunteering for cosmetic testing are much funnier, and stay within the world that Parisot is trying to supervise.

Eventually, “Jane” becomes this odd Enron-fueled revenge film, where our title characters act as audience surrogates and try to rewrite history by delivering a happy ending to those that lost everything. An original twist, I will admit that, but it fails to bring the comedy to a boil.

“Fun with Dick and Jane” isn’t a taxing motion picture, and provides no-frills entertainment to those easy to please. The film coasts on Carrey’s enthusiasm alone and without him, I can only imagine how lackluster this remake would be.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=13663&reviewer=404
originally posted: 12/21/05 01:08:03
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User Comments

2/20/07 The M'eh Man Meh 3 stars
11/28/06 Stanley Thai A funny comedy. Better than I expected. 4 stars
11/02/06 David Pollastrini not as good as the original 2 stars
10/30/06 ES Not a great movie but I couldn't take my eyes off it, it certainly passes time. 3 stars
7/20/06 Frank Rountree not very funny, pass on this one 2 stars
7/18/06 Anthony Feor Jim Carrey has let me down again 1 stars
6/23/06 George Funny and clever with no story 3 stars
5/19/06 Christine Wilbik I really enjoyed this movie and will watch it again. 5 stars
5/19/06 Kcaj Storyline is quite thin, but eh, it's okay 3 stars
5/17/06 Quigley it was funnier the second time. it is one you may or may not like. carrey is still the best 3 stars
3/22/06 naewar Loved it! I thought this was such a way funny movie! 5 stars
3/05/06 Sean D Fucking great stuff. Not laugh out loud but really fun to watch 5 stars
2/09/06 Monday Morning Not huge ha-ha's but the idea of repossessing their lawn was great. 2 stars
1/21/06 chris f very good movie 4 stars
1/21/06 KingNeutron Hilarious; recommended. 4 stars
1/08/06 The Grinch Cracked my shit UP! Too bad some critics review Carrey's salary instead of the movie 5 stars
1/05/06 Tim the Enchanter I was surprised at how funny it was. This movie is definitely underrated 5 stars
12/29/05 millersxing $20,000,000. BFD. Gay cowboys are doing more box office than JC. 2 stars
12/27/05 John Ross Jim Carrey is too out of control in this film. The original was funnny, this one aint. 2 stars
12/23/05 Quigley jim carrey was pretty funny, but it could have been TONS funnier. don't see it in theaters 3 stars
12/22/05 J-Dawg fuckin hilarious! 5 stars
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  21-Dec-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 11-Apr-2006



Directed by
  Dean Parisot

Written by
  Judd Apatow
  Nick Stoller

  Jim Carrey
  Téa Leoni
  Angie Harmon
  Richard Jenkins
  Alec Baldwin
  Stacy Travis

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