Fun with Dick and Jane


Fun with Dick and Jane is the sort of movie that resonantes in my mind firmly in the 1980's mindset. Fun suburbian outing involving sticking it to the man, often using a plan based on so simple of an idea that it is not likely the bad guy is all that tough if he falls for it. A lot of the movies of this theme, the "getting some back for the little guys" theme, end with such a convuluted plan that the sheer enjoyment of the movie can be said to be directly proportional to the enjoyment of the device. There are no suprises from Dick and Jane.

Jim Carrey's suburbanly comedic everyman (Dick), along with his suburban (but often not so comedic) wife Jane (played by Tea Leoni), go through a series of ups and downs that are recoginizable. Dick Harper gets a great new job, right as a company is set to explode by forces outside of his control, or knowledge. His grand plans are left high and dry as his world, and the world of all of his coworkers comes to a grinding halt. In order to make ends meet, there is the obligatory "fish out of water" scenes made up of upper middleclass people trying to get baseline retail jobs (there are apparently no office jobs in the the world, not linked to big business, in this universe, and no tour guide jobs, which is something that Dick would be especially good at). It ends up with the star couple descendnig into a life of crime. Though they cannot control themselves enough to keep a job in retail, they are able to pull off most excellent heists. Fair enough, maybe they are criminals by birth.

The movie often gets mired somewhere between comedy and tragedy, and not well blended, when you have scenes of a child crying because his real nice TV is being sold is right on top of scenes of Jim Carrey trying to play himself off as a desperate migrant worker in order to make a few dollars that day. These are all humurous scenes, but it occured to me, at one point in time, that I was not laughing so much as cracking a smile.

For the most part, this movie is one that makes you chuckle more than guffaw, and tries to make you think but just pissed my hardworking but broke ass off. I have spent up to half my waking hours trying to make ends meet. To see a man crying over his lawn is almost a call to arms against the upper middle class, you know? At the same time, I was brought to being mildly symptathetic to them overall, and some scenes did ring a bell or two.

And I don't know what was up with all the Gore/Lieberman 2000 posters. It was like the near subliminal advertisement out of Blade Runner.

Best scenes in the movie? Dick and Jane as Cher and Sonny (respectively), Dick and Janes as the Blues Brothers (I thought it was great), and Jim Carrey's first day on his new job as VP of Communications.

The rest is mild, but a good way to pass the time.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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