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Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)
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Review Date: January 02, 2006
Director: Dean Parisot
Writer: Judd Apatow, Nicholas Stoller
Producers: Brian Grazer, Jim Carrey
Actors:
Jim Carrey as Dick
Tea Leoni as Jane
Alec Baldwin as Jack
Plot:
A married man gets booted from his job, right as his wife quits hers, and months later, the duo are fighting heavy debt, depression and thousands of others looking for work in the same town. As a solution, the twosome decide that robbing stuff from others might be the way to go for now, so they buy some Halloween costumes, a fake gun and hit the streets running. What’s supposed to ensue is a bunch of “fun”, but we only get a little bit of it…and Alec Baldwin!
Critique:
If you’re going to title your film FUN WITH… anyone, you better make sure that you pour on the fun and then some, as that’s pretty much what anybody going into the picture will be looking for—especially if the name Jim Carrey is attached to it on top of that. I got a little bit of fun out of this movie, but not as much as I was hoping, especially when you consider its Christmas release, the addition of folks like Tea Leoni, Alec Baldwin and Richard Jenkins to the cast, and the screenwriting efforts of the great Judd Apatow. With all that pedigree tied into this picture, along with the director of the underrated GALAXY QUEST, I expected to be hunkered over my seat every few minutes, but instead, I smiled a little here and there, laughed once or twice, but mostly, just sat with a basic level of amusement pasted onto my fat face. Carrey, who’ll generally deliver some huge laughs during several points of his movies, fared only “okay” here, with only some of his manic over-the-top stuff included in this movie. Mostly, the film played like a huge set-up for the series of robbery schemes to which the couple ultimately surrendered, some of which were funny, but most of which were just “okay”. The film also concludes around a much bigger scheme which wasn’t all that interesting (and a little too serious for this type of movie) and led to many improbable situations (they basically went a little too over-the-top with that stuff).

Furthermore, I generally appreciate Leoni as an actress and comedienne, but didn’t think she had enough to do here, other than stand by Carrey’s side and act like the doting wife, most of the time. Her one sequence with the Botox experiment was pretty hilarious though. I also really enjoyed some of the stuff to which the family had to resort when they went broke like lathering themselves up with soap on the street and then running in front of the neighbors’ water sprinklers for a shower. The fact that their child was more proficient in Spanish due to his closeness to their nanny was also pretty funny. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the small, yet significant, contributions made by both Baldwin and Jenkins, who helped jack the film up a little. In the end though, the laughs and “fun” were simply not enough, and neither was the film’s runtime (only 85 minutes or so), leading me to believe that lots of editing took place and there might’ve been more on the cutting room floor. The film’s simplistic overview of the corporate scams still plaguing the U.S. today also took a bunch of liberties, but at least attempted something inventive in terms of the film’s plotline. Most comedies will resort to sitcom stories, so kudos to the filmmakers for – at the very least – attempting to jazz things up. That said…this is a rental at best.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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