One of my favorite things about watching old movies that I loved as a kid or teen is that rush of nostalgia. "Fun with Dick & Jane" is one of those movies for me. I watched it when I was 16 and laughed my head off. Now, 12 years later, I laughed just as hard. Of course as a kid I had no clue who Judd Apatow, Brian Grazer, and Nicholas Stoller were - each a comedic genius in their own right - and coming together when they were all still somewhat tame with Jim Carrey is just gold. There are times when the absurdity runs away from them, but just go with it. "Fun with Dick & Jane", a Jim Carrey classic.
Fun with Dick & Jane
Fun with Dick & Jane
If you need a laugh, this one's for you.
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
DVD or Streaming >27in
I've always been amazed by how few movies Jim Carrey has done - I think it's because of how much it cost to have him in a movie given his insane popularity in the 90's. He is my favorite comedic actor of all time. His form of comedy heavily influenced me and what I thought was and is funny. So I understand if people don't think he's funny, especially if they didn't grow up with his influence, because he always goes for it in his performance. I respect the fact that he's almost always done that in a mildly clean way - rarely cursing or being overly crude. Okay, I'll get off my Jim Carrey man-crush paragraph. In "Fun with Dick & Jane" it's so surprising and adds to the hilarity that Tea Leoni ("Jane Harper") is so well paired with Jim Carrey (who plays "Dick Harper"). In so many ways she, not he, elevates his performance. Her quirkiness, timing, and willingness to play the part add something so special. She shows the breadth that comedy can be - so that it's not all Jim Carrey-esque. Alec Baldwin ("Jack McCallister") is also a stand-out. Every time he's on, I love the overtness and cliches he exudes. Usually when a character is being overly one dimensional it hurts a movie, but in comedy it's allowed and can even make it more funny. The rest of the cast did a great job and just like Tea allow for Jim to make it a fun movie all the way through.
Stealing to get even is not the best morality message, but the very real effects that Enron, Worldcom and other bubble-bursting companies had on families in the early 2000's makes you wonder who was really stealing from whom. The film sends the exact message it wanted to. Thankfully I'm able to laugh through it, unlike many families who probably were greatly affected by excessive greed and lying. If you need a comedy that a teenager can watch (without sacrificing his or her soul), pick this one.
For every filmmaker wanting to do comedy, watch this movie! You'll realize that great comedy (just like any movie) NEEDS music to allow funny moments to punch even harder. Throughout "Fun with Dick & Jane" the music plays to the comedy. Who can forget "I Believe I Can Fly?" by Jim Carrey as he's going up the elevator - it's hilarious!
"Fun with Dick & Jane" starts off with such a bang. The title sequence sets the stage so well - you're aware of the situation (e.g. Globadyne is tanking) so much faster than our characters are, which I think is comedic genius. The film has the whole arch of comedy - you have moments that were building the entire film (Dick's son answering "hola"), you have lines delivered and choreographed in epic fashion (as only Jim Carrey can do), you have the perfect time/place situation (Dick robbing his friend), and you have musical montages that literally have me laughing as I write this. Comedies are well known for their plot holes, and I'll admit, this film can be quite holey, but it barely takes away anything for me. I think one of the fascinating elements this film attempts to do (mostly well) is switch from a full comedy to a crime-mystery-comedy midway through the movie. It's a daring twist that, again, mostly works. It definitely loses its comedic edge when it switches to more of a crime genre, but it always remains fun. Believe it or not, there is some heart in this movie.
The locations in this movie are surprisingly great and perfect for the story. And I think I found out why...estimated $100M budget (most of it probably went to Carrey/producers/talent) but still, that's an incredible amount of dough to spend on a comedy. I'd be interested if anything has come close to that in this genre in the past 10 years. That being said, the locations are great, camera angles are fine (just let Jim do funny stuff), and the musical montages are unforgettable.
All things come together in Story, Song, Visuals, and Performance to create so many funny moments. Nothing is wasted - such efficient storytelling through great writing and editing. If you need to laugh, this movie is for you.