Dick's in a Pickle
My theory when it comes to remakes is quite similar to my theory on book adaptations, always watch the movie before you read the book so you are not disappointed by what is different and watch the remake before the original so that you won't be disappointed by the changes. You can't always do it that way around but it often helps which brings me to "Fun with Dick and Jane" the 2005 remake of the 1977 movie which thankfully I haven't seen. And I say thankfully because this remake seems like a movie of two halves with the first half being turned into a vehicle for Jim Carrey's arm waving and face pulling brand of comedy. There is nothing wrong with that as Carrey's style of comedy is fun but I am sure if I had seen the original first this would have disappointed me.
Dick Harper (Jim Carrey - Bruce Almighty) thinks he's finally made it when he is called up to the 51st floor and given a promotion to Vice President of Communications for Globodyne and he encourages his wife Jane (TÃ©a Leoni - Jurassic Park III) to give up her job now he is making the big money. But he soon realises that he is the patsy in a scam by CEO Jack McCallister (Alec Baldwin - The Aviatorr) as Globodyne goes belly up and everyone ends up unemployed and out of pocket. Finding that getting another job is not going to be easy Dick and Jane are forced to turn to a life of crime to make ends meet but it leads them eventually to the caper of all capers where they can get their own back on the real bad guy Jack.
So for the first half of "Fun with Dick and Jane" we get Jim Carrey because whilst we get introduced to his family and his situation it is all about Carrey being larger than life. What that means is that we get the over the top antics as Carrey waves his arms, pulls faces and basically acts the idiot none of which we haven't witnessed him do before. It's not a criticism because Carrey is funny when he is pulling off all this comedy especially when it ties in to the story and thankfully much of the humour of this first half links nicely into Dick and Jane's worsening financial state to the point they reach breaking point.
What is especially good about this is that whilst Carrey dominates the first half of the movie the storyline and other characters become more prominent especially TÃ©a Leoni as his wife Jane. And we then get the joint humour of them becoming criminals; dressing up in costumes to pull off various robberies before eventually it comes back to Jack and the caper of all capers. And it is a fun caper as Dick and Jane attempt to swindle Jack out of all the money he embezzled during the collapse of the company. It has a nice snap and energy about the caper and features a scene which highlights that Carrey is more than just a comedian, a scene which surprisingly takes you aback.
And to be honest that is it because "Fun with Dick and Jane", or at least this remake, is a simple comedy full of big laughs with many of them coming off. Even the small laughs from Dick and Jane's son being fluent in Mexican because he spends so much time with the Mexican nanny gets the laugh intended. And even better is the fact that whilst jokes are repeated including one about a dog collar which gives shocks for excessive barking they are not used too many times.
What this all boils down to is that "Fun with Dick and Jane" works, whether it is a good remake I can't say but it delivers the laughs intended. It is very much a movie for those whole love Jim Carrey and his sense of comedy but whilst he dominates the first half things nicely evolve to make it more than just a one man show.