Fun with Dick and Jane (1977)
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The premise of the movie would be hard to beat at any rate. It really works as a comedy situation. Some of the scenes in this movie will absolutely make you roar with laughter.
If you want a good laugh on a Friday night...rent this one. :) Or better yet, buy yourself a copy so you can watch it again and again. It really is that funny.
George Segal, is a successful Aerospace Executive, who get's laid off due to some unforeseen cutback's, unfortunately the couple who are living beyond their mean's, and soon hit rock bottom as the pair struggle to find employment, with exceptionally hilarious result's
But where there's a will their's a way as Dick And Jane 'Accidently receive stolen money from a botched bank raid, the couple who develop an appetite for robbery then devise various and ingenious method's of grand larceny to pay off their mortgage/Bill's,
Unfortunately they had to unnessesary remake this gem for the attention deficit generation,(which is nowhere as great as this!
This version is much better then the remake with Jim Carrey. In this one, George Segal plays a serious executive engineer, while in the new version, Jim Carrey makes Dick a stupid idiot. Jane Fonda is very beautiful, and I am amazed that she was already 40 years old when she did this movie,since she doesn't look more then 32.
Especially memorable are the fashion show, the celebratory dinner, and the performance of Carmen. But good spots in this film are too frequent to even cite!
"Fun with Dick and Jane" is a great amoral comedy that has not aged or dated. The politically incorrect story is delightful and very funny, and is a sharp critic to the American Dream, satirizing the hypocrite need of maintaining a status and also to the corruption related to the big business of the corporations. Jane Fonda is very beautiful and shows a great chemistry with George Segal. This is the first time that I watch this movie, which is an excellent entertainment. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Adivinhe Quem Vem Para Roubar?" ("Guess Who Is Coming to Robber?")
Recently the subject of a remake (which I never bothered to see) this comedy is a sort of satire on the American dream and the attitudes of big business. Or at least that is what others have said. Personally I think it has a vague swipe at this but mainly it just settles for being a gentle caper that draws laughs from the unlikely descent of the middle classes into crime. It isn't anywhere near as sharp or caustic as I would have liked it to be but it flows along cheerily enough and entertained me reasonably well. Big laughs are few and far between but it is nicely comic for the most part.
Given the light material, I thought this was mostly down to the lead pair working with it well. Segal is reasonably good but his strength is in his chemistry with Fonda. She is good and has a nice comic touch. Support is generally solid if unspectacular with turns from Mcahon, Garcia and others but generally the film is carried by the leads. Direction feels a little dated now as the film has a very 1970's look and, without a sharp edge, it doesn't feel as relevant as it should do.
Overall this is a comic little film that is amusing and works thanks to easy performances by the lead pair. I would have preferred it to have had a much sharper edge to have blended satire with the comedy but it was still an entertaining little film albeit one that won't stick in my mind or have me coming back for repeat viewings.
Everything about it positively SCREAMS mid-1970s, from Dick's Thunderbird with the 600-feet-long hood to Jane's clunky Mercury Montego wagon to JANE FONDA WEARING HER JEANS ROLLED UP TO JUST BELOW THE KNEE TO SHOW OFF HER BOOTS! If you're a 70s afficianado, you can't help but love the time capsule that this movie represents. Another big bonus is the guy who played Schneider on One Day at a Time, who here plays a loud contractor with a big bullhorn.
As others have noted, the movie is also a time capsule to an era when it was not only OK, but funny to slam African Americans, Hispanics and especially gays. It was a little painful to see George Segal be so homophobic, but I choose to see this as a reflection of how far society has leapt in the last 25 years.
I've read elsewhere that Jane only made this movie for the $ to support then-husband Tom Hayden's political campaign/career. Even still, the late 1970s was Jane's era, in which she cranked out gem after gem, from the Electric Horseman to an incredibly bitchy role in The California Suite to a powerful performance in The China Syndrome.
All in all, FWDAJ is a funny time capsule that has a few messages, but don't be mislead by posters here who say it's a thinly-veiled moralistic movie. IT IS NOT! It's a fun romp, nothing more or less.
PS: Remember when they sold those things called record albums, the sleeves of which could conceal a gun during an attempted hold-up?!
The remake changed the story a little bit, updating the story so that it looked at the era of Enron, Adelphia, Worldcom, etc. This one is about about a simple firing and how the couple seeks revenge, with a lot of funny stuff. You're bound to love the trick that they pull at the end. A really fun movie.
Jane Fonda was the rare thing: a so-called sex kitten ingénue turned serious actress, additionally capable of comedy.
Here, they build a comedy around her sexual allure. Every gag depends on it. They all fall pretty flat these days because the sexual banter seems tame, and the memory of her sexual intensity has been lost. But should you take the time to watch this, there is a signature scene that shook the world of Hollywood filmdom. Tame today but a big deal in its time.
Jane (the character has this name, and he husband is the dick) comes home with a great, exciting idea. It is sexually arousing we see. She wants to tell her husband and does so while taking a pee, starting the story before and going on well after repantying and flushing. It is a strange association that Americans (and Brits) have mixing toilet privacies with sexual openness, but there it is, used for effect, around which a whole movie of seduction is based.
She is alluring, but we now know she was drugged and unhappy.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
I only saw part of the Jim Carrey version. What I find most interesting is that the 1977 version takes a while building up to the decision to rob, while it comes much earlier in the later film. That's the big difference between films made 30 years ago and now - the art of the buildup is gone. If you don't get to the meat of the plot in 10 minutes, the film is criticized for being slow. Personally, I like getting to know the characters and seeing what leads to the main plot. It's a pity that our MTV generation demands this.
I miss this type of comedy. The humor isn't vulgar, and it's about adults and not teenagers. And, given the financial climate, it still resonates. Today you need a Jim Carrey to sign on for a film like this in order for it to be made, where in the '70s and '80s, these movies were plentiful. Fonda and Segal are great. Recommended.
This movie isn't made to be taken seriously, so don't expect a dramatic heist film. This is a fun frolic through the 1970s with a few robberies along the way. George and Jane bounce off each other well, and they let the lines flow naturally, which makes the farcical situations even funnier. Hollywood remade the film in 2005, but it wasn't nearly as funny as the original.
There's no mistaking the subtext that takes a shot at about every rung on our economic ladder, from minority welfare cheaters to middle-class status seekers to upper-class hypocrisy. And throw in a shot at televangelist hucksters guarding their own loot. A couple points are easily overlooked. Note how Jane's wealthy dad refuses to help, lecturing them on the virtues of rugged individualism. Tellingly, this is the one scene without a humorous overlay. Note also that Dick's thanks for helping get a man on the moon is to get fired. Thus, it's declining profits, the logic of capitalist efficiency, that prevails over all else. Essentially, what storybook Dick and Jane find out is what it's like to survive on the margins, and since their tastes are elevated, it's an inflated margin.
Don't get me wrong. Thanks to both an excellent script and ace performances,the movie manages its many serious points in consistently humorous fashion. After all, we never expect Dick to actually use his stickup gun. He's too humorously inept, though he does get more skilled as time goes on. And catch how the now destitute Dick and Jane live in a rambling home with a bombed-out lawn and a pit for a pool. Now what will the neighbors say.
Big kudos to Segal who handles his difficult role in expert fashion, and also to Fonda who makes a perfect bickering soul mate and for being maybe the first woman to take a discreet leak on screen. McMahon too shines as the slick company president who smiles even while stabbing a guy's back. As an actor, he certainly proves he's more than Johnny's affable TV sidekick.
Anyway, in my little book, the 90-minutes succeeds on a number of levels, making it both really watchable and still relevant.
Watching Fun With Dick And Jane put me in mind oddly enough of dealing with World Trade Center families at Crime Victims Board who were a lot like Segal and Fonda. Working in the Towers for various wealthy companies when the male breadwinner was taken away, these families in most serious way were in the same kind of trouble this family was. That lifestyle can be expensive. John Dehner who was Fonda's father may be a self righteous creep, but there is a grain of truth in what he preaches at them about spending on luxury items.
McMahon who America knew for decades as the announcer and boon companion of Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show turns in a really good performance. He's a guy you learn to hate more and more as the film progresses. There's a great cameo part from Dick Gautier as a crooked televangelist Fonda and Segal rob. That should almost be legal.
With all the humor Fun With Dick And Jane is an interesting social critique and commentary on American values. It even got a remake in this new century. I'll have to check it out to see if it is as good as this one.
Something I'd like to point out that really has nothing to do with the movie itself, but I've noticed this in other pictures as well. I generally turn on captioning when watching films so I don't miss any nuance in the dialog, and fairly consistently I find that any words that might be considered controversial are 'X'ed out. So for this picture, any time someone uses Dick Harper's (Segal) first name, it appears in captioning as 'XXXX'. You can do the translation, but the only thing that it does is draw more attention to the more prurient use of the word. I have to laugh every time it happens.
I guess you can have some fun with this one in a Seventies nostalgic kind of way, but for me it wasn't very memorable at all. I actually know a married couple whose names are Dick and Jane who are friends of mine, and managed to reference the film the last time we got together. It was for a Happy Together concert tour we went to featuring a bunch of bands from the Sixties and Seventies, so at least we kept it in the same era as the picture.
In the 1970s he became a master of light comedy and this is a good example as he teams up with Jane Fonda. They are Dick And Jane the aspiring middle classes of 1970s suburban America whose world comes crashing down.
Dick is a successful Aerospace Executive whose company was responsible for sending the man to the moon but gets fired as the firm downsizes. The couple who have a large house, a son, maid unfinished pool and garden eventually realise that they have been living beyond their means and life in the breadline is no fun. Dick is unable to get another job and when Jane succeeds with employment it ends in disaster.
The couple turn to theft rather ineptly at first to make ends meet. They then decide to rob Dick's former boss who has stashed some slush money in his safe.
This is an immoral light hearted film with a subtext of life in breadline America which did get worse from the late 1970s onwards.
Its a fun, zippy film which is a lot better than the Jim Carrey remake but has dated with its racial attitudes. Of course its likely that it was the Hispanics and Blacks that were more likely to be in the underclass in that period. Then again even today. Ironically Segal would go on to make Carbon Copy a few years later which would examine prejudice as he discovers he has a grown up black son played by Denzel Washington (his film debut.)
George Segal and Jane Fonda bounce off well with each other, there is a nice cameo from John Dehner who plays Jane's father who turns down her plea for financial help.