The good news? It's only 85 minutes long! In the era of Kong-length masturbatory cinema, it's damn near refreshing to escape a movie theater with blood still circulating in one's buns. The even better news? It's not terrible! As the star of Fun with Dick and Jane, Jim Carrey tones down his maniacal style a smidge (but just a smidge) to make this remake of the 1977 not-so-classic pretty tolerable.
Originally a "message comedy" starring George Segal and Jane Fonda, this update keeps its theme close to the party line: "Big Business: BAD." Carrey is Dick Harper, a butt-lickin' company man for the Alec Baldwin-run Globodyne. Dick and his wife Jane (Téa Leoni) live in a cookie-cutter suburb with their young son who speaks with an Hispanic accent because their housekeeper has primarily raised him. (Mmmm... NOT FUNNY.) Their loving but sexless life is ruined when Baldwin pulls an Enron-style scam, collapsing the corporation on top of its employees. After a series of botched job interviews, and on the verge of being evicted from their home, Dick and Jane turn to a life of crime in order to keep up with the Joneses.
First of all, if your parents are in town this weekend, take 'em. They'll LOVE it, and you won't end up blowing your brains out all over the Greshamite sitting next to you. And that's because Fun with Dick and Jane is aptly named; it's not Hilarity with Dick and Jane, but it is roughly five chuckles-worth of fun. Judd Apatow's (Freaks and Geeks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) script may not be a belly-buster, but it is tight and just surreal enough to be enjoyable. Plus with the physical comedy talents of Carrey and Leoni, their ridiculous crime spree is the highlight of the film, which moves forward with a manic glee. And since the original film wasn't that great in the first place, there aren't any travesties of cinema to tut-tut over—just a light, fluffy bonbon of a flick that's genial, mildly amusing, and... ahhhhh, a sweet 85 minutes long.