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Fun with Dick and Jane

Promotional poster for Fun with Dick and Jane
Directed by Dean Parisot
Produced by Jim Carrey
Written by Judd Apatow
Nicholas Stoller
Starring Jim Carrey
Téa Leoni
Alec Baldwin
Richard Jenkins
Gloria Garayua
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Jerzy Zielinski
Editing by Don Zimmerman
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) December 21, 2005
Running time 87 min.
Language English
Budget $100 million
Gross revenue $202,026,112 (worldwide)

Fun with Dick and Jane is a 2005 American comedy film and remake of the 1977 film of the same name, directed by Dean Parisot and written by Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller. It stars Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni as Dick and Jane Harper, an upper-middle-class couple, who resort to robbery after the company for which Dick works goes bankrupt. Alec Baldwin, Richard Jenkins, Angie Harmon, John Michael Higgins, Richard Burgi, Carlos Jacott, Gloria Garayua and Stephanie Weir also star.

The film did well at the box office making a worldwide total of $202 million, weekend grossing only $30,383,515, but was able to eventually make eight times its opening weekend gross during the holiday season. The film received mostly negative reviews from critics. It was released by Columbia Pictures on December 21, 2005.

Contents

Plot summary

The year is 2000, and we are introduced to the Harper family. The family members are Dick Harper (Jim Carrey), who works for a company in Los Angeles called Globodyne. Jane Harper (Tea Leoni) works at a local travel agency and is often stressed at work. They have a son named Billy, who speaks mostly Spanish, as he has been taking Spanish lessons from the family's young Hispanic housekeeper, Blanca. Dick is 'promoted' to Vice-President of Communications by company CEO Jack McCallister and company CFO Frank Bascombe. He is also asked to appear on the show Money Life, where host Sam Samuels and then independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader dub him and all the company's employees as "perverters of the American dream" and claim that Globodyne helps the super rich get even wealthier. As they speak, the company's stock goes into a free-fall and is soon worthless, along with all the employees' pensions, which are in Globodyne's stock.

Dick arrives home to find an excited Jane, who informs him that she took his advice and quit her job in order to spend more time with Billy. Dick has to break the news over dinner, instantly alarming Jane. Dick tries to think positively, and tries for a few months to get a Vice Presidency at other corporations. After getting no job anywhere, Jane reveals that they'll end up declaring bankruptcy in the next couple of months due to their assets being comprised entirely of now-worthless Globodyne stock.

Dick still tries to look on the bright side, stating that their house is worth $600,000. Jane then informs him that, since the fall of Globodyne, the local property market crashed, and that if they were to sell their house, they would owe the bank $150,000. After coming to terms with the prospect of being poor, Dick and Jane both apply for low-paying jobs. After being fired from all local businesses, (with Dick being mistakenly deported to the Mexican border because of his slurring from getting punched in the mouth by an illegal alien trying to catch a painting job, and further complicated when Dick tries to call home and the authorities hear Billy say "hola" instead of "hello" when answering the phone, seeing how he spends more time with their Spanish maid rather than his parents themselves and finding out that they have 24 hours before being evicted from their home. He decides that it's time for the couple to turn to crime. Dick borrows Billy's surprisingly realistic squirt gun and decides to rob a local convenience store. He emerges and orders Jane to burn rubber, as he stole a slushy, much to Jane's amusement. He also attempts to rob a man at gunpoint, only to learn it is his neighbor Garth, who dismisses the robbery as a prank. After several failed attempts, they finally rob a head shop. Realizing that they get a thrill out of stealing, they make a profession out of this, going on nightly robbing sprees.

They climb their way up the crime ladder, becoming more professional with each passing night, and eventually steal enough money to retire the loans on their house and car, both of which were on the verge of repossession. One of their jobs is a burglary of the house a man who arrogantly laughed at Dick when he attempted to get an executive position at his company, then later learns that the man has now been fired for failing to secure his own house, causing Dick to remark that although what goes around comes around, their crime sprees are harming people. Dick and Jane's last "job" is to rob a local bank by going undercover as corporate security personnel. All goes as planned, until another crime spree couple enters the bank, wearing Bill and Hillary Clinton masks (which Dick and Jane themselves used earlier) and armed with shotguns. They are revealed to be former employees of Globodyne; Dick's jealous co-worker Oz and his wife Debbie. Dick and Jane escape, unharmed, and with the money. They decide to stop their "profession" but it's revealed that Dick is about to be indicted for his role in Globodyne's demise (as most of the other employees of Globodyne have also reverted to criminal lifestyles), thus he starts drowning his sorrows at the local bar. While there, he and Jane encounter a drunk Frank Bascombe, who tells them that the crooked Jack McCallister signed off all of Globodyne's assets (totaling $400 Million), dumped the entire stock, and that he paid Bascombe $10,000,000 to keep his mouth shut (as it was McCallister's plan from the beginning).

After Frank sobers up, they make a team and, through a devious and well put together plan, dupe Jack McCallister into reimbursing all of his former employees' pensions.

Although McCallister catches them in the act, Dick is still able to reimburse all of the former employees because he obtains McCallister's signature by convincing McCallister to cut him a paltry cheque; his wife, an art major, was then able to forge it. Dick obtains Jack's ill-gotten money in the form of bearer bonds and then establishes a trust fund to pay all the Globodyne employees. The next day, Dick informs Jack of the act as the press and former Globodyne employees flock to him. McAllister is not sure what to say on TV as he has gained the reputation as a generous man who has aided those who worked for him, but the loss of his money has left him virtually penniless. The film ends with the wealthy Harper family driving along the highway and into the sunset. While Billy is teaching his parents Spanish words, another car drives up to them. In the car is Garth, his neighbor who tells Dick he's got a great new job at a company called Enron.

Cast

Reception

Critical reaction

The film received negative reviews from critics. The film currently holds a 29% 'Rotten' rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 127 reviews. On Metacritic it was met with "mixed or average reviews". Justin Chang of Variety wrote "The rare Hollywood remake that, by daring to reinterpret its source material within a fresh political context, actually has a reason to exist".

Box office

After a disappointing opening weekend of $14,383,515, the film managed to have exceptionally good staying power throughout the holiday season, making nearly eight times its opening weekend gross, eventually earning $110,332,737 at the domestic box office, and $91,693,375 in international receipts, for a total of $202,026,112 worldwide. With a budget of $100 million, the film was a much needed success for distributor Columbia, which had struggled throughout the year.

Home Release

As of July 6, 2006 Fun with Dick and Jane has generated $43.5 million from DVD rental gross.

Production

Dick's company Globodyne, and the way it falls, is a direct parody of various corporations early in the 21st century. The closing credits begin with a Special Thanks To list, sardonically naming executives at Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Adelphia, ImClone Systems, Arthur Andersen, Cendant and HealthSouth.

The suburban neighborhood in the film consisted of the construction of 12 houses (only front facades), and one fully-functioning house all built on the site of the abandoned Marineland of the Pacific theme park in California.

While filming the coffee shop robbery scene, Téa Leoni seriously injured her shoulder while sliding on the counter. During the scene where Jim Carrey jumps into the ceiling and hangs above the bank desk, when he was stepping down, he accidentally fell and smacked his face on the floor. This painful blooper made it into the film.

Paramount Pictures paid Sony to pause filming for a week, so that Carrey could promote his previous movie, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

See also

References

External links








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