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Overall Rating
3.04

Awesome: 14.89%
Worth A Look31.91%
Average: 12.77%
Pretty Bad: 23.4%
Total Crap: 17.02%

4 reviews, 23 user ratings


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Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)
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by Doug Bentin

"Another lecture on ethics from Jim Carrey."
2 stars

Nothing makes a movie reviewer more uncomfortable than sitting in an audience, unsmiling, while the people all around are laughing. That’s even worse than being bored by a horror film that has the rest of the audience gasping and jumping in their seats. No, there’s something special about not being amused by a comedy.

I sat with that fish-out-of-water feeling through the first two-thirds of “Fun With Dick and Jane.” That’s the section of the movie that is at the mercy of Jim Carrey’s rubber face and body. I can take that for only so long, and 60 minutes is about 55 minutes too much. Plus, he’s been coasting on that kind of shtick so long now, it’s become more pathetic than funny.

Carrey plays the Dick of the title. (Insert smart ass comment here.) He’s an upper middle management type who is unexpectedly promoted to VP in charge of communications just days before he has to go on TV to be blindsided by questions about his company’s collapse. He’s left holding the PR bag while the big boss (Alec Baldwin) absconds in his helicopter and the second in command, Frank (Richard Jenkins), gets pie-eyed.

Because of Dick’s new promotion, wife Jane (Tea Leoni) has quit her job. Now, with both of them out of work, life gets tough. They finally take to a life of petty crime, knocking over convenience stores and sushi bars before moving on to banks because they don’t want to lose their lounging-by-the-pool lifestyle. They meet Frank again, who is now under indictment, and concoct a scheme for stealing 400 million dollars from their larcenous, pension-raiding former boss.

I guess it’s okay that they’ve been stealing for comfort, too, even if on a smaller scale.

Beyond a lack of interest in Carrey’s Plastic Man shtick, I thought the film came perilously close to making fun of people who actually have to work for a living on the bottom rungs of the employment ladder. Illegal aliens from Mexico, discount store grunts, maids. You know—people with jobs we can all laugh at. I especially got the giggles while the illegals were onscreen, with their dark-skinned, smiling faces and their we-don’-need-no-steenkin-badges accents. Mucho laugho.

At the midway point, the farce began to morph into social commentary as Jane has to take a job instructing her former girlfriends at the gym, and Dick takes a position as a greeter at a discount store that operates suspiciously like Wal-Mart. It’s here that Leoni’s roll is increased, and in her quiet way she’s far funnier than Carrey’s ADHD antics.

Before the film ends, Dick and Jane have found a way to right all wrongs and, apparently, no one we’ve come to like has to go to prison. Dick is threatened with indictment—in fact, he makes a big deal of it—but then the subject is dropped. Frank is still free as well. This is one of those comedies that mentions something for a laugh and then forgets all about it. Some of this stuff can be funny, but nothing holds together very well.

You may or may not think that Dick, Jane, and Frank’s solution to the financial problems caused by the collapse of a huge corporation is ethical. I think that question is left unaddressed in its entirety in a populist and smug conclusion, but that may be because I don’t think such injustices can be set right so easily. Not that they can’t be fodder for comedy—but the comedy has to be more thoughtful and gutsy than this one is.

“Fun With Dick and Jane” has its moments but it’s not as smart as it thinks it is, or as it wants to be. Its heart may be in the right place, but its head is up its ass. Way up.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=13663&reviewer=405
originally posted: 01/04/06 09:19:07
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User Comments

2/21/07 The M'eh Man Meh 3 stars
11/29/06 Stanley Thai A funny comedy. Better than I expected. 4 stars
11/03/06 David Pollastrini not as good as the original 2 stars
10/31/06 ES Not a great movie but I couldn't take my eyes off it, it certainly passes time. 3 stars
7/21/06 Frank Rountree not very funny, pass on this one 2 stars
7/19/06 Anthony Feor Jim Carrey has let me down again 1 stars
6/23/06 George Funny and clever with no story 3 stars
5/20/06 Christine Wilbik I really enjoyed this movie and will watch it again. 5 stars
5/20/06 Kcaj Storyline is quite thin, but eh, it's okay 3 stars
5/18/06 Quigley it was funnier the second time. it is one you may or may not like. carrey is still the best 3 stars
4/24/06 RICH K FUNNY(NO) ROMANTIC(NO) TOTALLY UNREALISTIC(YES) WASTE OF TIME(YES) 1 stars
4/21/06 Nicko WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO 5 stars
3/23/06 naewar Loved it! I thought this was such a way funny movie! 5 stars
3/06/06 Sean D Fucking great stuff. Not laugh out loud but really fun to watch 5 stars
2/10/06 Monday Morning Not huge ha-ha's but the idea of repossessing their lawn was great. 2 stars
1/22/06 chris f very good movie 4 stars
1/22/06 KingNeutron Hilarious; recommended. 4 stars
1/09/06 The Grinch Cracked my shit UP! Too bad some critics review Carrey's salary instead of the movie 5 stars
1/06/06 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
12/24/05 Quigley jim carrey was pretty funny, but it could have been TONS funnier. don't see it in theaters 3 stars
12/23/05 J-Dawg fuckin hilarious! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Dec-2005 (PG-13)
  DVD: 11-Apr-2006

UK
  20-Jan-2006

Australia
  26-Dec-2005


Directed by
  Dean Parisot

Written by
  Judd Apatow
  Nick Stoller

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



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