Sunday, 19 November 2006

Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

This review was originally posted on Ian's Personal Blog on 20th May 2006.

Fun with Dick and JaneAfter my last blog entry, I was wondering if I should just call this entry Fun With Dick (FX: rimshot - erm, on second thoughts perhaps I should rephrase that!) Moving swiftly on... two points need to be made about this film right upfront: Firstly, it's a remake of a 1977 movie that I haven't seen. Secondly, it stars Jim Carrey. For many (including me) this last point can be a 'make or break' on whether or not to give this movie 90 minutes of your viewing time. Carrey is one of those actors you either love or loathe, with most, in my experience, falling into the latter camp.

When he tones his performance down, Carrey can be a brilliant actor - see The Truman Show or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for some good examples. But when he's in 'full on' precocious show-off mode he quickly gets tiresome. Fortunately his less than laid-back performance style fits the material in Fun with Dick and Jane very well, although one has some sympathy for co-lead Tea Leoni, desperately trying to keep up with his antics. The plot, based around an Enron-style collapse (I'm still trying to work out if all the credits at the end of the movie for various Enron employees is some sort of 'in' joke or genuine!) that leads a respectable couple to a life of crime to pay off the bills, is a very basic skeleton to hang some good slapstick jokes on and, to my surprise given the luke-warm critical reception this movie had on release, I found myself laughing out loud not just once, but several times.

It's all good harmless, if slightly silly, Saturday night popcorn fun and certainly far funnier than the deluge of so-called 'comedy' releases from the same small cast of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and co. The picture transfer is superb, and although the extra's are short in running time (there's some funny 'Best of the press junket' interviews, some deleted snippets of Carrey ad-libbing about and a 'gag reel' that's more of the same) that's probably a blessing as Carrey's humour can get very wearing after a while.

With humour that's not aimed purely at 14 year-old males with endless gross-out 'jokes' and four-letter words, this is good fun. Not necessarily worth a DVD purchase, but definitely worth a rental!

Fun with Dick and Jane screencap

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