Wow, Jim Carrey hasn't had a good movie since 2004's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Two years isn't saying much, but in that time span we've seen one lousy "Harry Potter" rip-off in the form of "Lemony Snicket," and one complete disaster, "Fun with Dick and Jane." And by disaster I mean a complete and utter waste of talent from beginning to end. And also by disaster I mean so bad that I turned it off halfway through.
"Fun with Dick and Jane" stars Carrey and Tea Leoni as a wealthy couple who get screwed when their Enron-type company goes bankrupt due to accounting fraud and they lose everything. To stay afloat and keep their home, they take to bank robbing and convenience store theft, albeit not too successfully. I didn't get much farther than that, but it's safe to say that this was a story going nowhere fast, and when you have a story with dialogue so bad that even Jim Carrey can't make it funny, you know you're in trouble.
Carrey looks absolutely lost in this movie, as he is a man who has just realized that his hefty paycheck isn't even worth it for wasting his time in what he had to know was going to be a black mark on his resume. There really isn't a single moment in the film where's he funny, and most of the time he looks so desperate for a joke that it's actually quite sad. Tea Leoni, who can be a very fine actress given the right circumstances, is completely wasted here, as early on she saw how Carrey was struggling so badly and decided just to give up. No one can blame her.
Is this what director Dean Parisot gets for staying away from the big screen for six years? After all, his last theatrical release, "Galaxy Quest," was both a critical and financial hit - because it was actually funny. Of course, the real blame could fall on one of the screenwriters, Judd Apatow, but he just did "The 40 Year Old Virgin" last year. What the hell happened?
Needless to say, "Fun with Dick and Jane" is a travesty of almost comical sorts - but not quite. It is lame in every way, and if you're brave enough to sit down and watch it and actually make it through the entirety of the film, kudos to you. I was not that strong; I was not that brave. I cowered in the shadow of a bad movie, and it left its mark.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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