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Fun With Dick And Jane (2005)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres:
Comedy, Crime Comedy, Domestic Comedy
Director:
Dean Parisot Dean Parisot
Starring:
Jim Carrey Jim Carrey
Téa Leoni Téa Leoni
Alec Baldwin Alec Baldwin
Richard Jenkins Richard Jenkins
Angie Harmon Angie Harmon

5.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: December 27, 2005
There is just something about Jim Carrey that makes him instantly enjoyable. It doesn't matter which roles he tackles, whether it be a news-reporter blessed by God in "Bruce Almighty", or the king of insanity himself, Andy Kaufman - audiences just love Jim Carrey. So, it should come as no surprise to you that "Fun With Dick and Jane" was one hell of an entertaining comedy. It didn't set any new standards...it didn't blow me away...but, it made me laugh and it kept me smiling throughout. The screenplay was penned by Judd Apatow, who is currently the greatest comedy writer working today - he wrote and directed "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and was the man responsible for shows like "Freaks & Geeks" and "The Larry Sanders Show". The film is directed by Dean Parisot, who gave us the highly underrated "Galaxy Guest" and the series "Monk". Together, Apatow and Parisot make a stellar combination. Throw wonderful comedic actors like Jim Carrey, Tea Leoni, and Alec Baldwin into the mix, and you have all the ingredients needed for a successful comedy. "Fun With Dick and Jane" was one of the most delightful comedies of 2005.

Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni star as Dick and Jane Harper. Dick works for Globodyne, Inc., where he serves as a financial adviser and makes just enough salary to give his wife and son the kind of comfortable existence they need. They are not rich, but neither are they wanting. Their young son is under the care of Blanca (Gloria Garayua), who has taught him so much Spanish that it is all he speaks. The Harper's seem to have the perfect life. One day, however, their lives are turned upside down when the Globodyne president (Alec Baldwin) sets Dick up for a fall, followed immediately by the company going under and Dick finding himself unemployed. The remainder of this film deals with the Harper family trying to find all the money they can as quickly as they can, doing everything within their power to prevent their house from being taken. At first, they try a series of thankless jobs, followed by pawning anything and everything they own. As a last resort, they begin robbing local businesses, finally thrusting them back into the lifestyle they have been craving. There is also a nice revenge plot worked out against Baldwin's character by the Harper's and a former employee of Globodyne, Frank Bascom (Richard Jenkins). The film ends on a happy note, as most comedies of this nature, so we find we have been both entertained and rewarded.

This film relies on Jim Carrey a great deal. I wonder how much of this script just said - "Let Jim do whatever he wants to do". I would say that thirty percent or more of this film seems like Jim Carrey improvisation. And, that is not a bad thing. It works in this film, much better than it did in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events", in which Carrey was a little too over-the-top for my tastes. Here, he hits all the right notes. Tea Leoni is also firing on all cylinders as Jane, demonstrating she has the comic credentials to keep pace with possibly the funniest man working today. Carrey and Leoni share some absolutely hilarious scenes together in their car. And, when is Alec Baldwin not hilarious in a supporting role like this? He and Richard Jenkins work so well together as the sleazy corporate executives. I especially enjoyed the televised sequence where Baldwin's character is out duck hunting, a direct and almost exact copy of the footage of President George W. Bush duck hunting that was televised a few years ago. Every scene involving Richard Jenkins is a riot, especially once he takes up his alcohol abuse problem.

As mentioned earlier, this is not a groundbreaking comedy. It doesn't do anything that one hundred other comedies have not done in the past, but it does it well and with fresh faces. I ended up caring about the Harper's. I wanted to see them get revenge on Baldwin and I wanted to see them continue to live the life they deserved. Hands down, my favorite scene in the film would have to be the sequence where Carrey and Leoni are trying to take the television from the house to sell, but are bombarded by their son and babysitter. Just watch Carrey's facial expressions and reactions during this sequence. I probably laughed out loud for five minutes solid. That is what comic timing and pacing are all about - making people laugh when they really shouldn't be laughing. No one writes this better than Apatow and no one performs this better than Jim Carrey. Also, I think it was nice to see Jim Carrey in another semi-mindless comedy romp, like the good old days. I love him as a dramatic actor, but it is always nice to see a true return to comedic form, and this was it.

In a crowded holiday movie season, "Fun With Dick and Jane" is probably not the most amazing experience you will have at the theatre, but you will be hard pressed to find something more entertaining and wholly enjoyable. You don't walk out of the theatre feeling cheated. You walk out of the theatre feeling jolly and pleasant, as if you have just had a really good day. This is fast-paced, character driven comedy at its finest. "Fun With Dick and Jane" is a fine addition to Carrey's ever expanding comedic resume, and it also gives us yet another window into Tea Leoni, who continues to prove herself as an actress of immense range. So, if you're in the mood to see something powerful and totally engrossing, find "Munich". If you are looking to see something graphic and violent, "Wolf Creek" is what you need. If you're looking for something delightful, light-hearted, and incredibly funny, you're certain to have "Fun With Dick and Jane".

7/10.
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BuryMeAlive #1: BuryMeAlive - added 09/18/2007, 04:58 PM
Another letdown from Jim Carrey, this film has it's moments, but not many of them.
Lucid Dreams #2: Lucid Dreams - added 11/22/2010, 03:44 AM
Like Bury I agree that it had its moments, but that would be it. 6/10
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