Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

(Netflix Streaming, April 2015)  Watching this film from 2015’s viewpoint, I’m actually surprised that it dates from 2005 and not from, say, 2010.  As a comic take on suburban desperation after a severe economic catastrophe, Fun with Dick and Jane may have been inspired by early-2000s Enron, but it feels designed for the late-2000s Great Recession.  While it’s nominally a remake of a 1977 film, Fun with Dick and Jane is conceived as yet another excuse for Jim Carrey to goof off, as his executive-level protagonist turns to a life of crime after losing a high-flying job and seeing his comfortable upper-middle-class threatened with foreclosure.  Carrey gets play up his clean-cut goofiness, banter back and forth with a game Tea Leoni and generally cut loose.  Not every gag in the film works (there’s a subplot, arguably an entire character, designed to culminate in a series of immigration jokes) and the denunciation of corporate malfeasance is more caricatured than effective, but Fun With Dick and Jane at least delivers another fair classic-Carrey performance, and a few decent chuckles along the way.  It does feel like a film out of time, though, far more appropriate five years later (alongside The Other Guys or Tower Heist) than for 2005.

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