Making the Grades
Dick Harper (Jim Carrey) and his wife Jane (Tea Leoni) enjoy a comfortable existence in suburbia. He drives a Beamer and works for Globodyne, a media consolidation business. She is a travel agent. Together they have a precocious little boy who is learning Spanish from his nanny (Gloria Garayua).
One morning Dick is summoned to the upper echelons of the office tower and promoted to the position of VP of Communications. In response to his advancement, Jane quits her job and they start some major upgrades around their house. Days later, Dick is given a script and sent on air to announce the quarterly earnings. But just as quick as his meteoric rise takes him to the top of the corporation, the new VP experiences stellar burnout when a scandal is uncovered and the company's stocks plummet.
Suddenly their American dream vanishes along with their pension and savings.
To stay off their creditors, both look for employment, even applying for minimum wage jobs where mandatory drug tests are part of the application process. However the community is saturated with laid-off Globodyne workers. So when the bank announces its plans to evict them, the couple decides on more desperate means to earn an income. Donning disguises, they follow the lead of Dick's former boss (Alec Baldwin) who defrauded his staff, and turn to a life of thievery.
Remade from a 1977 movie of the same name, this story makes light of Dick and Jane's illegal activities and justifies their revengeful attitude. It also negates any consequences for the wrong they commit on other innocent victims. Playing their holdups and home invasions for laughs, the script relies on Carrey's comedic timing to lessen the seriousness of their crime spree and the resulting violent tussles.
In addition to the robberies, profanities pepper the dialogue including a single voiced and several bleeped uses of a sexual expletive. Sexual innuendo and some discussions of intimate activities between a married couple is also written into the screenplay.
Situational jokes and slapstick humor provide Fun with Dick and Jane with some entertaining moments, especially when Dick finds himself in competition with a roomful of other interviewees, all vying for a single opening. Still, despite the jesting, this desperate duo's solution to their money woes is no laughing matter.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Fun With Dick and Jane.
How do Dick and Jane justify their criminal activities to themselves? How does the script defend their behavior?
What sacrifices are they forced to make following the loss of their careers? How can families or individuals prepare for unexpected job loss?