GENRE: Caper comedy remake
The pitch: When suburban corporate climber Dick (Jim Carrey) sees his Enron-esque employer go bust, he and wife, Jane (Téa Leoni), resort to increasingly desperate lengths -- including armed robbery -- to keep the creditors at bay.
Money shots: Dick, Jane and their son wash in their neighbors' sprinklers and pay their maid in appliances. During a funny montage of stickups, Dick and Jane don Sonny and Cher disguises.
Best line: "I'll put in the new Starbucks sampler CD," says Dick, looking for mood music when he and Jane have a rare amorous moment.
Worst line: There's a running joke with Blanca (Gloria Garayua), the heavily accented nanny, pronouncing the name "Richard" as "Reethard."
Product placement: The film displays plenty of competing status symbols, like Dick's BMW vs. his neighbor's more prestigious-model Mercedes. As the company's drunken CEO, Richard Jenkins explains the company's failure by saying, "Maybe we didn't know how to use Quicken."
Political subtext: Fun with Dick and Jane repeatedly evokes Enron and even has a special closing credit for the crooked execs of Arthur Anderson and other notorious white-collar sleazebags. Alec Baldwin's predatory CEO has a drawl and penchant for nicknames evocative of George W. Bush, and even echoes Dubya's line, "Now watch this shot."
Real-life cameo: Playing himself, Ralph Nader appears opposite Dick on a financial talk show to decry corporate greed.
Nasty humor: More mature than Carrey's Dumb and Dumber days, Fun with Dick and Jane includes some gags at the expense of the dog, Spot, getting zapped with a shock collar. After testing a Botox-like product, Jane's face swells grotesquely.
Better than the original?: Not really. The bawdier, more straight-faced 1977 film showed a little more sincerity in tweaking the economic pinch of the 1970s. Still, the Jane Fonda/George Segal vehicle is generally the best kind of film to remake, since audiences and critics barely remember it.
The bottom line: Carrey has some genuinely funny moments running amok in the corporate world, but the movie deflates when the couple face destitution, then try to sting the evil CEO. For a more entertaining and educational film on modern financial chicanery, invest your time in Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.
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