On Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

Book coverThis film is a seventeen-year-old remake of a 1970s film. It comes from that turn-of-the-century period where Jim Carrey made some midling comedies (Liar, Liar and Yes Man come to mind) amidst his more dramatic and then kid’s movie roles. So it might get lost in that in-between period.

At any rate, Jim Carrey plays Dick Harper, a communications professional working for a large corporation. He gets promoted to Senior Vice President by his bosses, including the CFO and the CEO (played by Alec Baldwin). He’s thrown into the lion’s den by abruptly being shoved into an appearance on a cable news show where he’s confronted with suspicious behavior of the CEO, and as he (Harper) flounders, the stock tanks. The company shuts down amidst great scenes of shredding (a la Enron). As he was promoted, he encouraged his wife, played by Téa Leoni, to quit her job and make big plans for his new large salary.

Out of work, he looks for a job but finds it hard to get a job of equal stature (shades of Executive Blues: Down and Out in Corporate America. So we get some scenes of interviews, followed by slumming by working briefly at a thinly veiled Walmart and working as a day laborer as their furniture, landscaping, and eventually home are repossessed. Carrey ends up with a toy gun, and that inspires him to turn to a life of crime with his wife as his co-conspirator.

It leads to a number of scenes where they commit crimes. When they spot the CFO, they grab him and plot a heist against the CEO, which is the climax of the film. Hey, I can’t know heist comedies, now, can I?

Amusing in spots, but like Executive Blues, it lacks imagination in the change in circumstances. But at least in this case, it’s for comedic effect, even though it stretches credibility.

So were I to give stars, I’d give two and a half out of four or three out of five.

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