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Thursday, 13 December 2018

Retro Review: Fun With Dick & Jane (2005)

Fun With Dick & Jane
Cast: Jim Carrey, Tea Leoni, Alec Baldwin, Richard Jenkins, Angie Harmon
Genre: Comedy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $202 million 

Plot: When an affluent couple lose all their money following a series of blunders, they turn to a life of crime to make ends meet

'Amongst Jim Carrey's Worst, This Was Anything But Fun'

A remake of the 1977 film with George Segal and Jane Fonda, 2005's Fun With Dick & Jane is a humourless attempt at a comedy with the mismatched Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni as the couple, Dick & Jane, the film's problems are exacerbated by the fact that the so-called uneven tone and feel is not a good fit for Carrey's wacky and colourful brand of comedy. 

Penned by Judd Apatow of The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Jane and Dick become Bonnie and Clyde as they turn to crime and as the heists stack up, the script becomes increasingly dire as it goes on. The Harpers are a couple who take on various jobs to compensate for Dick losing his job; one of these involve working at a Costco-esque store. 

Carrey and Leoni are bereft of chemistry and the film's fatal flaw is that the writers are centred on the politics moreso than delivering a good story and that the humour doesn't work, peppered with unfunny gags and that it suffers throughout. Though it is said that his slapstick style is out of place in a film with a plot such as this, it worked in 1996's The Cable Guy; that too was a Black comedy, but it also played to Carrey's strengths. With Fun With Dick & Jane, however, given the context, set-up and the story's structure, Carrey's mannerisms just doesn't work. Carrey attempts to elicit laughs from poor material, but his efforts are mostly in vain. The characters also lack emotion and genuine feelings for the film to work, but those elements are too utterly devoid. It was virtually impossible for me to sustain interest in the story as it became drearier and more monotonous with the laughs drying up. 

Jim Carrey's movies are divided into two camps: the fun, wacky comedies with eccentric characters or eccentric Jim Carrey characters, which showcase his talents & the films in dramas where Carrey can play it straight and convincingly too ..... Fun With Dick & Jane is neither of those, whatsoever. Writer Dean Parisot, who did the excellent Galaxy Quest, should have taken a far bolder approach. Instead, it's just a bore to sit through and the only scene that garnered a chuckle was Carrey's Dick dressed as Cher and Leoni as Sonny, as Carrey's schtick is poorly utilised and his character, Dick is utterly charmless. This is another bad and unfunny comedy, it was just practically awful -, and it's not often that Jim Carrey has been in a film that I have disliked and not fully enjoyed; however and unfortunately though, Fun With Dick & Jane, is that film. 

Jim was better utilised in comedies in Ace Ventura, The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, The Grinch, The Cable Guy and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and in roles that enable him to showcase his improvisational comedic talents through intriguing and unique characters. Dick, on the other hand, is far from intriguing; in fact, he is not and watching his turn here, it just wasn't fun to watch. 

Final Verdict: 

By far this is up there as Jim Carrey's worst and it has absolutely none of the charm and entertainment value of many of his earlier efforts, especially. Even more baffling is that the Incredible Burt Wonderstone has a lower IMDb rating than this film, - & yet Jim Carrey's performance in that film was miles apart superior than in Fun With Dick & Jane

Fun With Dick & Jane? More like none with Dick & Jane


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