Dick [1999]

Remakes are always a gamble, so it's a pleasant surprise that Fun with Dick and Jane pays off with unexpected dividends. It's as entertaining as the 1977 original starring George Segal and Jane Fonda, and the teaming of Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni makes this a safe bet for comedy fans, in spite of a slapstick screenplay that fails to achieve its fullest potential. Rather than attempt a darkly comedic send-up of the Enron scandal that left thousands of stockholders in financial ruin, director Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) opts for a lighter, more accessible (read: commercial) satire of corporate greed and cynicism, beginning in the year 2000 when Dick (Carrey) gets a plum promotion as a mega-corporate communications director just as his boss (Alec Baldwin) is preparing to bail out before stock prices plummet. Dick's wife Jane (Leoni) has quit her job as a travel agent, so the corporate bombshell leaves them penniless and desperate, resorting to petty thievery and, eventually, plotting high-stakes revenge against the greedy executives who ruined their lives. As a send-up of financial distress in a ravaged post-Enron economy, Fun with Dick and Jane delivers laughs with just enough pointed humor to give it a strong satirical edge, and Carrey's reliable brand of zaniness is controlled enough to balance nicely with Leoni's more subtle (and woefully underrated) skills as a screen comedienne. And while the "special thanks" end-credits hint at the sharper, more biting satire this might have been, there's enough fun with Dick and Jane to make this recycled comedy worth a look. --Jeff Shannon

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