Movie Review
Fun with Dick and Jane
Dick and Jane poster
By Scott Sycamore     Published September 21, 2005
US Release: December 21, 2005

Directed by: Dean Parisot
Starring: Jim Carrey , Téa Leoni

Running Time: 90 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $110,503,000
This is a train wreck for everyone involved.
Here we have the worst movie of Jim Carrey's far. When I learned that I would be watching a new comedy starring him, I was expecting a reasonable level of quality. What I got was a shamefully forgettable and infuriatingly unfunny hack-job. My mouth opened not to laugh, but to drop my jaw on the floor; I was in shock from the vapidity of this material. It's difficult for me to illustrate just how hard this movie fails. I did not let out one audible chuckle for the entire runtime. This is the kind of flick that makes you want to take a dump in your hand and fling it at the screen. I don't care what kind of reaction a movie tries to provoke; I think we can agree that cinema should never elicit groans of boredom. This movie turns its back on us faithful viewers.

First of all, this one is yet another remake, which I actually didn't know when I saw it. Yes, another piece of 70's-era media has been re-done/raped by a sheister Hollywood conglomerate, trying anything humanly possible to avoid original ideas. The story is about a married couple - Dick and Jane (Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni) - who are chirpy and upwardly mobile. They also have a young son, but he never comes into play. They have a nice suburban house with a green lawn in front. But then, due to an Enron-like corporate scandal, Dick loses his good job at a respectable company. Now the family is forced to fend for themselves with no means of income. So they go the illegal route and turn to robbery, donning ski masks to hold up coffee shops and ATM visitors.

It's a wacky adventure filled with good times. Okay it isn't (but you already knew that from previous paragraphs). I mean, aren't you falling on the floor laughing right now at the concept alone? White suburbanites become street criminals due to economic desperation: it's simply the most gripping setup on the market. Maybe if this movie had something to say about class and/or society, the hokeyness of the premise could be forgiven. But nope, this flick has less commentary than someone with their mouth sewn shut.

Let's talk acting for a second. Carrey does an ultra-light riff on his usual role (think Liar, Liar minus all edge) but since he has nothing funny to do or say, it really doesn't matter what kind of persona he takes up; he achieves the once-impossible (for him) task of having zero screen presence. Tea Leoni gives one of the most atrocious performances to come around in a while: she is annoying in both voice and mannerism, and doesn't come off as realistic at all. The two leads embarrass themselves in a way that you wouldn't have thought they'd be capable of; it's painful to listen to them trudge through their dialogue as the movie sinks deeper with every passing second. Alec Baldwin shows up as a villainous businessman, but he also doesn't register at all. The only performer who shows any spark is Richard Jenkins (a Farrelly brothers vet), but even his natural watch-ability does not rub off onto the larger movie.

This is a train wreck for everyone involved. Not even Jim Carrey can make it the slightest bit interesting. Why did he take the role (and co-produce the frickin' thing)? I'll leave that for him to explain if he has the guts to own up to this massive misfire. Avoid this movie at all costs, even if you're the world's biggest Carrey fan; this is the kind of movie that makes Batman Forever seem like sold material.
Scott's Grade: D+
Scott's Overall Grading: 417 graded movies
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'Dick and Jane' Articles
  • Scott's Worst Films of 2005
    January 24, 2006    If you?d like to cringe with embarrassment while also being bored to tears, see {Fun with Dick and Jane}. -- Scott Sycamore
  • Craig's review B
    December 26, 2005    Dick and Jane isn't high art, but it's easy to root for. -- Craig Younkin
  • Lee's review C-
    September 7, 2005    Watching Dick and Jane is like being on the Titanic: you?re looking for a way out as you keep sinking deeper and deeper, and you?re astonished at how someone could let such a thing happen. -- Lee Tistaert