Friday, March 03, 2006

Dick and Jane

In the wake of the resounding success of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jim Carrey gained new status as an actor rather than a series of caricatures he was reducing himself to. The actor had already established his reputation as an actor in Truman Show, released in the mid 90s.
But the promotional material and trialers for Fun with Dick and Jane make it clear that this movie is lighthearted and not in Eternal's league. But most viewers would expect that the movie show the same flair that some of Carrey's other movies - most notably Dumb and Dumber - exhibit for comedy. But Carrey is not at his comic best here and is burdened with an unoriginal screenplay.
Also, in the aftermath of the Enron scandal, ire towards such companies was at an all-time high in the US. If there were at least a few nods and winks to what really happened at Enron, this movie would have had an interesting subtext. But this is brazen wish fullfilment, that ends with Dick taking on his bosses and walking away scot free in a climax that stretches all imagination.
Dick and Jane, played by Carrey and Tea Leone, are a happy couple, whose life is disrupted when Dick is chucked out of an Enron-like company, minus his pension and other benefits. Dick has just been promoted VP of communications and unwittingly plays a role in the crash of his own company. Made into a public scapecoat, Dick and his wife begin a new career in robbing, by which time the viewer has probably given up all hope of the movie coming good.
The film mindlessly moves from one cliche to another, evoking chuckles from a well-trained audience who have been watching this kind of fare from Hollywood at regular intervals.
When Carrey is producing the movie as well, it is but natural to except a little more than this. Why the writers had to sink the movie when they could have easily written in some biting sarcasm is hard to see. Disappointing stuff, but at least doesn't scar you forever. I dare say that I will be brave enough to watch the next Carrey movie.