Straight away I’d like to point out that the trailer for Fun with Dick And Jane didn’t actually give away the entire film, which is a blessing these days, especially with such high profile comedies. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the film went in quite a few directions I hadn’t expected, and a lot of the humour was completely unexpected.
The pratfalls and wild takes certainly take place before an interesting backdrop, as Fun with Dick and Jane is set in the year 2000 and is a not-so-subtle attack on corporate America and in particular the Enron scandal. As to whether it achieves anything particularly subversive is up for debate, however it was good see a comedy that wasn’t purely silly.
Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is back in his element, so much so that it seemed much of the film’s laughs derived from his outtakes and/or adlibs rather than any of the dialogue. Téa Leoni has a great time in this film, and is the perfect foil to Carrey’s zany antics (read: overacting). It must take a lot of skill (and patience) to be able to sit back and let Carrey do his thing, and more importantly get a few laughs in yourself. The ever expanding Alec Baldwin has a supporting role, an almost carbon copy of his performance in Elizabethtown, though he does get to take some amusing yet rather blunt shots at George W. Bush. Upon reflection this is slightly confusing, mainly because the film is set during Clinton’s term in office, and overall the film’s attempts at satire or incisive political/corporate lampooning is a little vague at best.
A rather disappointing, or at least challenging, aspect to the movie was that the majority of it was like one long montage. Rapid fire scene after scene of wacky hijinks with very little pause for breath. It’s only in the last section that the film slows down again and actually slips back into traditionally paced narrative.
Fun with Dick and Jane is hit and miss, to be sure, but very entertaining nonetheless. The moral and/or political sentiment is a little primitive so don’t expect anything revelatory, however I’m sure Carrey fans won’t be disappointed.Rating: