Published Dec 01, 2005Jim Carrey makes three types of films: family-oriented fare that plays on his rubber-faced physical talents (The Grinch, Lemony Snicket); "over the top" comedies that play on his initial reputation as a crazed comedian (Me, Myself & Irene, Bruce Almighty); and often dramatic and difficult films that challenge Carrey's talents (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).
Lately, it's been the final category that has offered much of anything good from the actor. His most recent film is the remake of the 1977 Jane Fonda, George Segal comedy, Fun With Dick and Jane. Sadly, Dick and Jane falls somewhere in between the first two categories, reducing Carrey's talents to nothing more than a Christmas box office opportunity.
Carrey's Dick is teamed with Tea Leoni's Jane. Leoni, a talented comedian who has had difficultly finding roles that suit her, has great chemistry with Carrey, and manages not to be sucked up by his general tendency to hog the screen from his female co-stars (see Jennifer Aniston or Renee Zelwegger). They play a husband and wife team that resort to armed robbery when Dick's promotion at a big company goes sour thanks to the white-collar crime of Dick's boss (Alec Baldwin, who now permanently plays villains). It's a cute premise that plays on recent Enron-esque scandals and brings a fair amount of laughs, but it tires quickly, and both Carrey and Leoni are left with little to work with when they are reduced to robbing stores.
Its unfortunate that the script, co-written by the usually impeccable Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin), has such a hard time finding its humour. It's certainly not as bad as it could be, but it continues Carrey's streak of comedies made more for money than funny. Fun With Dick and Jane makes one yearn for the days of Liar Liar, Dumb and Dumber, or, yes, even Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Renting one of those might be a lot more fun than Dick. (Sony)