Critical Consensus: "Dick & Jane" Not Much Fun; "Cheaper" Is Bankrupt

by | December 21, 2005 | Comments

This week’s wide releases include a remake ("Fun With Dick and Jane") and a sequel to a remake ("Cheaper By the Dozen 2"). Will critics be laughing at these comedies?

What is "Fun With Dick and Jane?" Is it slapstick? Satire? Social commentary? Dark comedy? Is it… fun? To the last question, the critics have an answer: sometimes, but not often enough. This remake, starring Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni, updates the 1977 Jane Fonda/George Segal comedy about two yuppies who steal to regain their riches. The plot is updated for the Enron era, and it also adds a scene with Mr. Carrey in a ninja costume. Yes, wacky Jim Carrey is back, but the scribes say "Fun’s" tone is too much of a muddle to really hit any of its targets. At 33 percent on the Tomatometer, this one’s a pretty plain "Jane." And it’s Carrey’s worst-reviewed film since "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls," which scored 26 percent.

The Baker family is back in "Cheaper By the Dozen 2." Steve Martin, Bonnie Hunt, Hilary Duff and Eugene Levy star. There are lots of family hi-jinks. Despite some mild conflict, everyone loves one another. The first one made tons of money. The critics are pretty united in their disdain for "Cheaper By the Dozen 2," a film that, at 11 percent on the Tomatometer, is a point short of a dozen itself. It’s also substantially below the first "Cheaper," which scored two dozen on the Tomatometer.

Recent Jim Carrey Movies
71% — Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
93% — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
50% — Bruce Almighty (2003)
42% — The Majestic (2001)
51% — How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Recent Steve Martin Movies
62% — Shopgirl (2005)
24% — Cheaper By the Dozen (2003)
34% — Bringing Down the House (2003)
37% — Novocaine (2001)
66% — Joe Gould’s Secret (2001)