Fun with Dick and Jane is a remake of the subversive 1977 satire starring George Segal and Jane Fonda that harped on the hypocrisies of American capitalism. It cleverly poked fun at the aerospace industry, the welfare system and televangelism. Of all the remakes in the theatres these days, and there have been a lot of them, Fun with Dick and Jane should have been the most timely. With the collapse of Enron and the internet bubble bursting this story should be social satire, but somehow it falls flatter than the foam on a day old Starbuck’s latte.
The story sees yuppies Dick and Jane, played by Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni living a comfortable suburban life. When Dick is promoted to Vice President of Communications at his corporate job the couple seem to be set for life. Unfortunately the job only lasts for twenty-four hours. Dick, and the entire company find themselves out of work when the boss brings down the company in a stock scandal. Over-extended, bankrupt and unable to find work Dick and Jane turn to armed robbery to pay their bills.
Aside from a few jabs at big business, the toll greedy corporations can take on their employees and an interesting “thank-you” list in the credits—how many times have you seen Ken Lays name in the credits of a movie?—Fun with Dick and Jane exchanges the satirical bite of the original for Jim Carrey’s patented physical humor and a revenge subplot.
Carrey makes the most of his slightly written part, and generates a few laughs here, but without him Fun with Dick and Jane wouldn’t live up to the promise of its name.