Thomm Quackenbush, author

Run From Dick and Jane

See Dick lose his job. See Jane cry over the repossession of their lawn. Lose precious brain cells as you wish you'd watched Brokeback Mountain a second time instead of this. If a bigwig studio exec handed me the Fun With Dick and Jane script pre-production and asked my opinion (as they should have) I'd say, "You might have a decent movie here if you spice up the beginning and get someone like Jim Carrey onboard."

One outta two ain't bad.

Like vegetarians at a steakhouse salad bar, Fun With Dick and Jane is what starving moviegoers devour when everything else sucks. This is a sloppy film held up with the star power of spunktress Tea Leoni and ham-master Jim Carrey. The two play yuppies who transform nicely (though too slowly) from suburbanites to super-criminals. As soon as the characters jump from stability ship to shenanigans, Fun With Dick and Jane turns into a comedy worthy of its stars.

Their little boy has a Mexican nanny with a lisp, so instead of her calling Dick "Richard" she says, "Retard." Dick and Jane's son imitates her accent, which leads to some big-budget cuteness, though few laughs. Set in California, there's actually a lot of Mexican, border-crossing humor, and it's all mediocre until an impending foreclosure spurs Dick to misuse his son's water gun to keep the family afloat. Housewifing's got nuthin' on robbery, or so Jane learns assisting her husband. In one scene the duo is dressed as Sonny and Cher, yet with their gender reversed. In an attempt at nostalgia, they recreate the famous Blues Brothers scene in costume when Jake and Elwood crash through the front of a store window. It's all very CUTE. But not cute enough since Dick flips out in his frequented yuppie bar and shouts at an executive's hairpiece ala Ace Ventura, "This squirrel died of natural causes!"

With the help of another unemployed exec, the couple find a way to steal millions of dollars from the evil CEO who turned their lives upside-down. Played by Alec Baldwin (with a Southern accent) we get a real treat as the filmmakers compare Baldwin's character to George W. Bush on vacation as the world falls apart. Throughout this film set six years ago, "Gore/Lieberman" posters are plastered in store windows, making its little-guy liberalism very clear, despite the characters' constant salivation over swimming pools and giant hunks of meat. (Ah, the American dream!)

On the day of The Ol' Switcheroo, Dick and Jane follow Baldwin to his banking institute, which turns out to be a really funny scene. Tea Leoni awkwardly distracts Baldwin, trying to jog his memory with, "Don't you remember? I've got a tattoo of a green monkey on my ass!"

Leoni, as always, radiates with warmth and spirit, completely miscast as a tennis-playing homemaker. Yet her presence is what saved this film for me. Jim Carrey is simply Jim Carrey - hilarious, risk-taking and bouncing around like a green ass-monkey hopped up on speed. The two actors make this movie bearable but like I said - a second run with gay cowboys would prove more worthwhile, despite the great Enron joke at the end. See Dick drop this credit from his resume. See Jane blame her agent. See this DVD collect dust at Blockbuster.
Angie is wearing a kick-ass custom-made t-shirt. Email her for details and YOU could be wearing one too!
Angela Lovell, writer extraordinaire, can kick your ass with a well placed word. Her writing can also be found at Sugarzine, Tickingboxes and WHOREscopes. She can be seen acting (occasionally wearing very little or making out with fellow hot girls) in the web series The Fold (NSFW).



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Works by Thomm Quackenbush

Anthologies

Find What You Love and Let It Kill You by Thomm Quackenbush
Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft by Thomm Quackenbush
A Creature Was Stirring: A Twisted Christmas Anthology by Thomm Quackenbush
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At Double Dragon