Tuesday, October 11, 2011

AotR: Fun with Dick and Jane (1977 / 2005)

George and Jane verses Jim and Téa

"Life sucks," says Dick.
From 1930 until the early 1970s, Dick and Jane and their friends helped first graders learn to read in classrooms all across America. These films have precisely nothing to do with that. This writer is too young to have ever laid eyes on the once ubiquitous children’s primer, but doubts that they tackled such issues as joblessness, armed robbery, and corporate corruption.

The remake is an update more than anything and so it doesn’t depart much from the original. The basic story is that Dick and Jane Harper (George Segal and Jane Fonda in the 1977 version; Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni in 2005) are a couple on the fast-track to success. Things take a turn for the worse when Dick loses his job and, despite months of searching and frugal living, he is unable to find new employment. Faced with mounting debt and desperation, the couple eventually resorts to a life of crime to pay the bills. Hilarity ensues.