2006-01-04 / Book Review

Gazette on film a movie review

by Rose A. Whitney

by Rose A. Whitney

“Fun With Dick and Jane” can best be described as a modern, campy version of the biblical David and Goliath story with Jim Carrey taking aim at corporate criminals who bankrupt their companies at the expense of the “little guy”.

The Harper family, Dick (Jim Carrey), and Jane (Tea Leoni) and son, Dick Jr., initially enjoy a comfortable upscale lifestyle in the suburbs. Dick has an executive position in a communications conglomerate and Jane is a travel agent. However, their lives are soon turned upside down when Dick’s company goes bankrupt following illegal activities and practices by the top execs. As a result, not only has Dick lost his job, but also his investments in the company vanish, leaving him with no nest egg. With incredibly bad timing, Jane decides to quit her job the same day that Dick discovers his predicament.

Both Dick and Jane search for new employment, but find only low-paying jobs which they soon lose. As bills mount, they are forced to sell appliances, household items and furniture. Watching their lawn being repossessed is one of the comedic highlights of the film.

Dick decides to turn to a life of crime. He rationalizes this decision with the thought that although he has always played by the rules, he now finds himself undeservedly in such dire circumstances. Rather than an endorsement of criminal behavior, the crime spree that follows is a tongue in cheek, campy parody during which Carrey's trademark madcap, over-the-edge style is highlighted.

Dick and one of his former co-workers then devise a scheme to outwit the CEO who caused the company’s demise by tricking him out of the contents of his foreign bank account. Events begin to lead to a positive resolution of the Harper family crisis.

Carrey’s fans may be disappointed, since in “Fun With Dick and Jane” his frenetic antics seem more toned down, compared to his earlier movies.

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