Jim Carrey has never disappointed me in a movie, and his role as Dick Harper in Fun with Dick and Jane is no exception. He and fellow actress Tea Leoni are fun to watch from beginning to end. Carrey has a knack for playing the average guy who falls upon something that changes his life - and the audience takes pleasure in following him along his new path. In Liar Liar (1997), Carrey plays a hard-working lawyer who's job depends on lying until a higher force forbids him from doing that. Now in Fun with Dick and Jane, Dick loses his job after his company gets caught in a major scandal. He is then forced into a life of crime in order to support his family.
The beginning illustrates the average, but successful, lives of the Harpers. Dick is a dedicated employee at Globodyne Corporation who gets promoted to Vice President of Communications after years of hard work. Dick's wife Jane (Tea Leoni) works at a travel agency, but quits her job to care for their son Billy in anticipation to Dick's promotion.
Although this movie can be categorized as a slapstick comedy, the plot was a bit more poignant. While it was entertaining to watch Dick and his family rush to shower in their neighbor's afternoon sprinklers (because they cannot afford to pay their water bill), following Dick and Jane through humiliating jobs was heartbreaking. After months of office-job searching, Dick finally takes a job as a Kost-Mart greeter while Jane attempts to be a fitness instructor at 24-Hour Fitness. Both are soon fired from their jobs that would not have been able to support them regardless.
Most people can relate to Dick and Jane's years of hard work with an expectation to excel. When Dick finally achieves that, fateful events take his fortune away. While he struggles to support the things he has, Dick is still forced to give up practically everything he worked for, including his furniture, television, appliances, etc.
The Harper's struggle with unemployment and the jobs they are forced to take is an all-too-familiar feeling for most Americans. Even though Dick and Jane finally do decide to steal their money back (not that this is encouraged), their progression to it was believable. Dick and Jane are a decent, honest couple driven to the extreme because of bad economy, bad luck and unfortunate circumstance.
Kristin's Grade: B
Director: Dean Parisot Based on: Fun with Dick and Jane (1977) Genre: Crime / Comedy Running Time: 90 minutes Rated: PG-13 (for brief language, some sexual humor and occasional humorous drug references)
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