Fun with Dick and Jane
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this comedy includes some cursing and broad physical, occasionally violent comedy. Characters drink and act drunkenly; they make jokes about sex (with two scenes leaning toward activity, one in a married couple's bed and one in the car). Characters steal, lie, blackmail, and cheat to get money.
What's the story?
In FUN WITH DICK AND JANE, Dick (Jim Carrey) is a wealthy executive working for Globodyne Corporation under his CEO Jack McCallister (Alec Baldwin) and CFO Frank Bascom (Richard Jenkins). But Dick goofs up and causes the company to go belly up. At home, Dick learns that his wife Jane (Téa Leoni) has just quit her job as a travel agent, which is a major problem given their high lifestyle. While McCallister has flown the coop with $400 million, everyone else affiliated with the company is broke, depressed, and/or suicidal, including Frank, whom Dick discovers at a bar, drinking himself into oblivion. After a series of failed attempts to work, desperate, Dick and Jane turn to literal thievery, only a short step from the mendacious strategies embodied by McCallister. They rob convenience stores, sushi stores, jewelry stores, wearing costumes, and they hook up with Frank, who conjures a plan for revenge.
Is it any good?
Fun with Dick and Jane makes a basic point, summed up Dick's assessment of their situation: "We followed the rules, and we got screwed. We were good people, and we got screwed." As a result, they are rendered primal, desperate to "protect our land." Such reductiveness alludes to the primary school book recalled by the film's title. But that's about it. For a comedy with so much politico-cultural baggage on its mind (and it's not above using Enron as a final punch line), Dick and Jane remains curiously inert.
Dick's something of a one-dimensional joke, powered by Carrey's elasticky face and gyrational limbs. While he doesn't exactly pass as a "hardened criminal," despite his protestations to that effect, he's determined to make his point. Just so, the movie is at once clunky, witty, and earnest, as this pod combination constitutes a kind of comedic assertiveness.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the day laborers joke: while it may be funny to see Dick mistaken for "Mexican," how does this situation speak to real concerns for poor immigrants?
Do Dick and Jane learn any moral lessons from their ordeal?
|Theatrical release date:||December 21, 2005|
|DVD release date:||April 11, 2006|
|Cast:||Alec Baldwin, Jim Carrey, Tea Leoni|
|Run time:||90 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||brief language, some sexual humor and occasional humorous drug references.|