2005 Running time: 90 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3

Synopsis

Jim Carrey plays the loveable crazy guy once again in this lively remake of a 1977 crime caper that provided a hit for Jane Fonda. He's Dick, a corporate stooge who takes the flack when his company tanks, leaving he and his wife Jane (Téa Leoni) in dire straits. Earning money legitimately proves disastrous, so the desperate couple go on a crime spree - and spy a golden opportunity to get even with Dick's slippery ex-boss. Think Bonnie and Clyde played for laughs.

Director

  • Dean Parisot

Cast

  • Jim Carrey

  • Tea Leoni

  • Alec Baldwin

  • Richard Jenkins

Review

Remakes tend to work better when the original was either (a) forgettable, and/or (b) rubbish. Back in 1977, Jane Fonda was a big star and so, puzzlingly, was George Segal, the blandest comedy lead of any era. Their Dick-and-Jane act falls into category (a).

This being so, most people will view the Carrey/Leoni routine with no preconceptions. Their reward is a good-natured romp that runs around like a headless chicken until settling down for a revenge-scam finale.

Fifteen years after waiting for promotion at media giant Globodyne, Dick Harper finally makes vice-president. Hours later, Dick is live on TV as the company collapses.

He arrives home to find that wife Jane has quit her job and, since all their money was tied up in Globodyne stock, things look grim. Even their lawn is repossessed.

Their attempts at gainful employment fail miserably, with Dick managing to be detained as an illegal immigrant and Jane having a nasty reaction to a clinical research trial.

Dick can only see one way forward - crime. But after a few failures, they show an aptitude for robbery (and costume) to become the Bonnie and Clyde of suburbia.

Then an attack of conscience leaves Dick with a chance to take revenge on McAllister (Baldwin), the Globodyne chief who made him a scapegoat and got away scot-free with all the company's cash.

After directing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, writer Judd Apatow maintains his healthy laugh count while taking a pop at corporate America. (The end credits begin with 'Special Thanks' to the likes of Enron.)

The central pair don't stint on the physical gags either, with Leoni throwing herself gamely into the role alongside her showier co-star... who flails and skids around with trademark enthusiasm.

That the improvised Carrey-ing on occasionally feels like padding doesn't matter because even when the initial caffeine-rush has worn off, you'll still have fun with Dick and Jane.

Elliott Noble

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