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Film: Fun With Dick And Jane

Fun with Dick and Jane is 1977 comedy film. Dick (George Segal) and Jane Harper (Jane Fonda) are two married yuppies, an aerospace engineer and a dedicated homemaker. Dick makes a handsome salary, and both of them spend it as fast as possible (one of Dick's lunches costs a thousand dollars). Dick knows all his colleagues are engaged in bribery, but he's honest enough not to break the law himself. Both Dick and Jane are quite happy.

Dick and Jane are idiots, and they're spending far above even their extensive means. They've borrowed against the house and their insurance, taken all the money out of their bank account, and still have more they wish to buy. But aerospace engineering is in a decline, and Dick is about to be fired. Off to the food stamp line with them!

Until Jane sees a loan office robbed, and realizes just how easy crime can be....

Was remade in 2005 with Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni in the title roles.

In this version, set in 2000 at the height of web-based businesses, Dick is an employee of one such called Globodyne while his wife works at a travel agency. They live moderately well with their son and a Hispanic housemaid. One day Dick gets promoted to head of VP communications of the company. He tells Jane about it along with making the suggestion to quit her job with their supposed increase of money. However the next day as Dick does a interview on a stock based TV show, he realizes he's been made the scapegoat for the financial failings of the company which he of course didn't know about. Globodyne goes under in less then a day and the employees laid off including Dick. What's more Jane took his advice and quit meaning both are now jobless. With the recession of companies going under, Dick can't get another job similar to his old one and Jane and he are forced into trying minimum wage work.

After one misadventure after another and having to either trade or give away most of their luxuries. Dick, fed up, "steals" back their lawn (as before he was laid off was getting new grass for his house), giving him a small victory in his struggle. But it doesn't last as he soon gets an eviction notice. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Dick set out to gain money, illegally. After inadvertently getting Jane caught up in the theft, the two realize they like the rush and thus their crime spree begins.

Was met with mixed reviews but did moderately well at the box office.

This 1977 film provides examples of:

  • Black and Grey Morality: If somebody in the first movie didn't commit a misdeed, it was because they were only in one scene.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Very, very much true, particularly of Jane.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The climax hinges on the slush fund Charlie keeps in his office, which Dick informs Jane about as they're watching him testify before Congress that it doesn't exist.
  • The Danza: Jane Fonda as Jane.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Jane is briefly hired as a model. When she trips and crashes into a cart covered with snacks, it causes a mild but lengthy version of this that ends by setting two tables on fire as Jane screams and runs out of the room.
  • Finagle's Law: Always, always applies for at least one character in any given scene. "Exceptions" come from one person's failure being another person's gain.
  • Genius Ditz: When Dick first evaluates Jane's work possibilities, she interprets his remarks as meaning she could only be a secretary or a whore, to which he responds "You're not qualified to be a secretary." Yet she shows a surprising amount of intelligence when committing robberies. (Dick arguably falls into this trope too, though he could at least consistently perform his job before he was fired.)
  • It Works Better with Bullets: Dick's third failed robbery.
  • Money Fetish: Jane in particular has an interesting reaction to stealing $200,000 cash.
  • Money to Throw Away: After robbing the aforementioned televangelist, Dick and Jane find they can't ditch the cops following them, so they throw part of the money out the window. Every other car behind them, including the cop cars, stops and blocks the road as the drivers make a grab for the money.
  • Outlaw Couple: The two sum up to this, though neither fulfills a "brawn" role.
  • Pants Positive Safety: "If that thing goes off, you'll be going on this robbery half-cocked." It's practically impossible to draw the gun from such a space, though, and Dick's failure leads the fellow at the cash register to think he's trying to buy condoms.
  • Swiss Bank Account: The local bad guy has stashed all his plundered money in an offshore bank account (it's never mentioned what country it belongs to).
  • 10-Minute Retirement: After the car chase with the televangelist in the original, Dick and Jane decide they can't take the pace of being robbers anymore, so they take stock and conclude they have enough basic necessities covered that they can retire from their life of crime. Then they see Charlie testifying about his slush fund on TV and in moments talk themselves into stealing it.
    Dick: Short retirement.
    Jane: Very.
  • Xanatos Gambit: The protagonists have successfully robbed Dick's former employer of his stash of bribe money, but armed guards are blocking the exit. They have all the money in Jane's purse. They've just called the cops and told them about the bribe money. Either their employer lets them past the guards with the money, or they show that money to the cops and send him to jail. He chooses to let them go, but winds up fired anyways—and Dick is hired to replace him.

Tropes for the 2005 Remake

  • Anti-Hero: Type III
  • Batman Gambit: In the climax, after their initial plan falls apart, Dick confronts the CEO and demands that he sign a blank check. Knowing that Dick's threats are empty, he mockingly cuts him a check for $100 and leaves. But Dick reveals to Jane that he planned the whole thing: now that he has the CEO's signature, so she (an art major in college) can forge it.
  • Black and Grey Morality: More justified here as Dick, Jane and many of the Globodyne employees put their shares in the company. Thanks to the CEO's actions and the recessions of jobs, most of his employees were force into crime just to survive.
  • Contrived Coincidence: When Dick is mistaken for a Latino (due to a bruised jaw giving him a weird sounding accent) he claims he can prove he isn't to the police and tries to call home. Unfortunately, his son, who was being taught Spanish by their housekeeper, answers "Hola" into the phone.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Even moreso then the original, Jack just screams this after the company tanks.
  • Humiliation Conga: To Dick after the Globedyne company collapses.
  • I Meant to Do That: A variant. Dick and Jane try to hide how poor they are, but even their lawn plants are rented, and the company that rented them out comes to claim them after the check bounces. Jane sees the neighbor watching, so she starts ordering them to remove the plants, claiming they put in the wrong ones and she wants them gone and her money back.
  • Involuntary Charity Donation: Dick and Jane forge Jack's signature to set up a relief fund for former Globodyne employees using the money Jack stole from the company.
  • Justified Criminal: Dick and Jane try to use every other options available to legally survive before they start their crime spree. This is also shown to be the main reason various other people from the company have turned to crime as well.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: At the end when Dick and Jane trick Jack into giving away the money he swindled from his employees.
  • Kick the Dog: A bank head pretends to call Dick in for a job interview, even letting him to bypass a long line of people queueing up for it. It turns out that he's just there so that the guy and the other higher-ups in the bank can mock him and take more pictures of him for the 'net. Turns into a The Dog Bites Back moment when Dick and Jane rob the guy, getting him fired in the process.
  • Know When To Fold Them: Dick and Jane quit their crime spree (which was meant to be their last one) after two former Globodyne employees botch a robbery job at the bank they themselves were planning on stealing from. It gets further strengthen after they see on the news other employees failing in various criminal activity as well.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jack, he stole all the money from his employees. In the end, he unwittingly gives it all back.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Everything tanks when Globodyne goes down in the remake. Partially justified by the economic downswing caused by the sudden failure of a major corporation.
  • Oh Crap: Jack's reaction as he reads of his "charity" fund during a news conference, coming to the realization his ill-gotten money has been given away.
  • Humiliation Conga: To Dick after the Globedyne company collapses.
  • Present Day Past: Set in 2000, but a convenience store's door sticker has a "born before" date of 1983.
  • Police Are Useless: During the immigration bust scene, Dick drops his wallet after getting punched off a truck who asks for painters. One of the Latino men pick it up and the police mistake him for Dick via a picture ID by the INS..despite the fact there should be a photo with a clearly Caucasian man in it.
  • Promoted to Scapegoat: Dick is made VP of Communication right on the eve of Globodyne's bankruptcy. He isn't aware of it till he gets called out about it on a news show. It also later shown he's about to be indicted as part of the investigation of the company despite not knowing anything about it.
  • Precision F-Strike: Jane calls Jack McCallister a FUCKER for stealing all their money.
  • Sarcastic Confession: When Dick is asked where he's getting all his money.
  • This Is Going To Be Huge: According to the remake, Enron.
The Finishing LineFilms of the 1970sThe Gauntlet
Frozen DaysFilms of 2005 - 2009 Ghosts 2005

alternative title(s): Fun With Dick And Jane
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