Friday, January 20, 2006

Movie Report: Fun With Dick and Jane

I know the professional reviewers don't think much of the movie, "Fun With Dick and Jane," but I loved it. Jim Carrey returns to "Ace Ventura, Pet Detective" form after a string of movies that I didn't much like, such as "The Mask," "The Cable Guy," and "Me, Myself and Irene." The movie is a send-up of the Enron, World Com and other corporate scandals in which high-flying corporations are cooking the books to make it appear they are profitable, and, then, when the inevitable crash comes, the southern good-old-boys escape with their billions while the employees and stock holders lose everything.

Dick and Jane turn to crime to make ends meet after Dick gets a short-lived promotion to vice president of communications of the fictional corporation, "Globodyne," that quickly turns sour when Globodyne's fraudulent books are exposed. Increasingly desperate to maintain their yuppie lifestyle on no income, Dick and Jane sell off their furniture, their high definition tv, and finally, have their lawn repossessed. A recurring funny bit is their six-year-old son's Spanish accent after having been raised by an Hispanic maid while the parents were off climbing their respective corporate ladders.

Dick and Jane start out robbing Starbucks of a couple of lattes and fat-free muffins with their son's water pistol, but quickly escalate to convenience stores and banks. In the end they figure out how to take back for the Globodyne pensioners some of the hundreds of millions of dollars the head of the company, played with exquisite glee by Alec Baldwin, had stashed away in an off-shore bank. Would that the real-life former employees of Enron had figured out a way to liberate some of the money Kenny Boy Lay got away with.

I know it will infuriate one of my regular readers who has forgotten more about movies than I will ever know, but I gave this movie four stars out of a maximum of five. Dick and Jane would be proud.

7 comments:

PG said...

Actually, I'm glad you enjoyed this movie. I'm looking forward to the DVD. I wouldn't waste my time in a theatre with it, though. (And what about Carrey's "serious" movies? Have you skipped them?)

Amishlaw said...

I don't think playing it on your DVD player while you deliver newspapers in your car or putter around the house counts as actually watching it. As for Carrey's serious movies, I didn't see "Eternal Sunshine. . .," thought The Majestic and The Truman Show were okay, and don't know about the others.

PG said...

Sure it counts. What did you see in it in the theatre -- other than big size -- that one would miss on the small screen? Do you have some visual analysis? Who was the cinematographer or art director? Did it rely in some special way on the mise en scene or was the editing noteworthy in some way? Any wasted shots? When you see The New World, compare visual aspects and how they contribute to the story. Some movies use the visual aspect as a key element in the narrative and meaning; I'm gambling (safely, I'm almost certain) that Dick and Jane is a movie, a remake at that, that can be watched handily while puttering. It's a multitasking world.

Amishlaw said...

If all you're looking for is to fill your stomach, eat french fries while reading a book or watching television. Even french fries are better, if you set the table, get out napkins, light some candles and enjoy the sensory pleasures of eating a meal.

PG said...

Well, maybe. On the other hand, it seems kind of stupid to eat french fries by candlelight.

Patry Francis said...

Anything that makes you laugh--and maybe even makes you see things more clearly--has got to be a good thing. I'll have to check it out.

PG said...

The amazing thing about posting comments on old posts is that no one will ever read them, I'm sure. So, I have now seen Fun with Dick and Jane, on my portable DVD this afternoon, while driving and delivering papers, and it was a perfectly acceptable way to watch it. I did laugh, particularly at the kid speaking Spanish he'd learned from the maid. "Don jew take away my Telemundo!" When they started robbing banks and such, I lost some interest, but I liked the jabs at Bush (Baldwin saying "Watch this shot" after faking lament for the collapse of the company, a direct quote of Bush) and, I guess, the veritable Communist ending and all. It is going to fit in well with my Money novel/thesis I'm writing.