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Fun with Dick and Jane

See Dick Run 

Year: 2005 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Fun with Dick and Jane

Director: Dean Parisot

Starring: Jim Carrey, Téa Leoni, Alec Baldwin, Richard Jenkins

A remake of the 1977 film of the same name, the movie pivots on the plummeting fortunes of Dick and Jane Harper (Carrey and Leoni). Only a day after being rewarded with promotion, Dick’s company becomes involved in an Enron-like scandal. He and his wife suddenly can't maintain their affluent lifestyle and so turn to crime to pay the bills. The couple exact hilarious revenge and teach corporate business a lesson.

Carrey instils his character with a disordered and irrepressible streak from the beginning, which makes his criminal progression somewhat believable and weirdly sympathetic. Leoni is effortless in a performance that ideally complements and sometimes trumps Carrey’s shenanigans. The supporting cast is accomplished; Baldwin is commandingly corrupt as the sleazy ex-CEO who becomes Dick and Jane’s final target, and Richard Jenkins is effective as the Company’s No.2. Parisot (Galaxy Quest) juggles various genre elements in the film, switching from slapstick comedy to political satire in an instant. Initially there are funny moments (such as Dick’s live interview whilst the company’s shares nosedive), but when the couple finally turns to crime, the gags run out of steam. The film relies heavily on trite slapstick: wigs, bank hold-ups, false beards, and silly costumes.

Nonetheless, Parisot keeps the audience entertained, producing a tight script that is perfectly paced at 90 minutes long. In this time, the film explores the flip side of the American Dream. The amusement at first comes from watching comfortably middle-class people do without the usual privileges. Impudent political humour reaches its zenith during the credits, which proffer a special thank-you to top executives such as Enron and Worldcom. Fun with Dick and Jane is an enjoyable film. It updates the basic premise in a way that plugs it into the present. It features a short enough runtime, an incredibly straightforward plot, and a Jim Carrey returning to his classic comedic role.

Sarah Hall

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Screenings of this film:

2005/2006 Summer Term (35mm)