Fun With Dick & Jane
starring Jim Carrey, Téa Leoni, Alec Baldwin, Richard Jenkins, Angie Harmon, John Michael Higgins, Richard Burgi and Carlos Jacott
written by Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller
directed by Dean Parisot
I don’t like Jim Carrey very much. He is too manic for my taste. But when I was a child I loved Jerry Lewis, and the comparison of Lewis and Carrey is obvious, I think. For me, Carrey’s films alternate from the brilliant to the disgracefully obtuse. But this one is a winner and you will like it.
This is a re-make of George Segal and Jane Fonda’s Fun With Dick and Jane (1976), directed by Ted Kotcheff. I think the 1976 version is still good, but the 2005 re-make is definitely a comedy must-see. Perhaps the very public and large-scale corporate fraud, corruption and bankruptcy scandals in the last decade involving global corporate giants like Enron, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom and others keeps the premise of Fun With Dick and Jane current.
Dick Harper is a corporate Vice President who not only loses his job when his employer, Globodyne Corporation, fails, he also loses his pension, the value of his home, and all his savings. That’s the risk of employees buying stock in their own companies, I guess. It could make them all millionaires, as in the case of Microsoft, or it could destroy them, as in the case of Enron.
To survive, Dick and his wife, Jane, have to start selling their household goods. Out of desperation, they turn to robbery to survive. In the end, they are heroes when they right the original wrong by cheating Globodyne’s CEO (Alec Baldwin) out of his hundreds of millions of stolen corporate dollars and redistributing it to the company’s out of work former employees before he can get it safely out of the country through a secret bank account.
I liked all the deleted scenes that I saw as extra features on the DVD. I wonder how much longer and funnier the movie could have been if they had included everything that was cut? Think about it. Every feature length movie you watch represents only a fraction of what was filmed. The finished product that is released in the movie theaters and for rent and that becomes planted in the popular imagination often bears only a passing resemblance to the original script.