Funny Dick & Jane lampoon Enron

The Internet was kaput yesterday at my home. I’am shifting over to the new Rs 900 plan of BSNL and those dolts disabled the old account before enabling the new one. aaaaarrrrgggghhhhhh!! If they don’t enable the new account as they have promised by today evening then they had it!! (latest update – they have restored it now :). yippppeeeeeeeeee!!)

So i had no choice but to watch a DVD and what better than a comedy after a hard day’s work

Jim Carrey is not one of my favourite comedians; i think he is too much of a overact at times and i was expecting the same old rubbery faces and clown like acts. The title of the Movie too gave a similar impression “Fun with Dick and Jane”.

The Movie stars a Average family in a Average suburb in a Average city in America. There is Dick Harper, his wife Jane and their 5 yeard old boy Billy who is being looked after by their(most probably illegal immigrant) latino housemaid who has also thought the boy enough Spanish to convince the INS over the phone that he is from south of the River Rio Grande.

Dick works at Globodyne Inc and is expecting a promotion after having toiled for the last 15 years in the lower floors of the company. The D-Day finally arrives and Dick is invited to the 51st Floor and promoted to Vice-President of Corporate Communications.

As part of his new duty he is tasked to appear on a TV show called MoneyLine to give some positive PR to the company. The Talkshow host asks some very pointed questions about the company like Why is the shares of Globodyne plummetting? Why has the CEO of the company dumped nearly 80% of the stock he owns on the market since the last one year?

Dick is taken aback but tries to give a positive spin to all these hopeless revelations. His counter question “I don’t know where you are getting your statistics from?” makes him a National laughingstock. Dick later returns to the office to find that his company has tanked throwing its employees out on the streets, people have lost all their savings and pension funds which were in Globodyne stock.

Dick and his family are now thrown into hardship when he is not able to find a job for several months. At last Gulping his pride he takes up a job as a supermarket salesman and his wife takes up a job as a Gym instructor. It does not work out for either of them and now Dick is ready to try out even menial jobs which is done mostly by illegal immigrants which again does not work out, plus it lands him in a soup when the INS raid that hangout and “deport” him to Mexico from where he extracts himself with some difficulty in the dead of the night along with a car full of new found mexican friends from across the border.

Now with no other option left Dick & his wife take up robbery & holdups to make ends meet. Things seem to look up again until they attempt a robbery in a bank which is foiled by a holdup by their “rich neighbours” who are in turn foiled by the timely arrival of the Police who promptly arrest them. The very realisation that it could have been them instead makes the Harpers philosophical.

At the same time the TV is flashing news about the different routes taken by former Globodyne employees to make ends meet while the CFO Frank is sentenced to 18 months in jail; John the CEO is living a good life and is shown hunting ducks in the forest and in characteristic Bush like fashion makes a statement about how much he feels for the wellbeing of his employees and asks the TV crew to now watch his shot.

And to add to the woes of Dick, It is announced on TV that he is going to be indicted in a court of law for “misleading” the Public.

Dick & Jane incidentally meet and Corner Frank outside a posh hotel and they together along with Frank plot to steal $400 million from John to “punish” him. John comes to know of this plot and asks Dick to backoff or he would have them thrown in jail. Dick insists that he write a cheque for him or else he would shoot him dead on the spot. John feels sorry for Dick and signs a cheque for him and assures him that he won’t block the cheque. Dick then forges the signature and manages to transfer the $400 million from from where they pay out the liabilities of all the former Globodyne employees.

Jim Carrey has been truly great in this movie. He and Jane(Tea Leoni) have managed to bring out the pain felt by the people affected when companies like Enron and Worldcom went under. Jim is more restrained in the movie. no excessive monkey faces or clownish acts and he comes out as a truly decent actor.

The movie does acknowledge all the “Stalwarts” of Enron, Worldcom etc.. as its inspiration towards the end.

But then the moot question is, Did Enron go under only because of plain old corporate greed or was the Intellectual arrogance about being pioneers of the “New Economy” also to blame?

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4 Comments

Filed under Humour, TV/Movies

4 responses to “Funny Dick & Jane lampoon Enron

  1. Anonymous

    I had no idea that they had re-made George Segal/Jane Fonda starrer Fun with Dick and Jane (1977).

    I guess I shall have to watch out for it!

  2. i did not know that this movie was a remake. i thought it was inspired by Enron

  3. Anonymous

    After reading these IMDb user comments for
    Fun with Dick and Jane (1977)
    I am sure you too will wish to seek out the original.

    Actually US corporate culture is replete with such stories about corporate accounting frauds – I know because I worked for one which has left me jobless for over 4 years!

    There is a documentary about Enron called “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)” based on the excellent book by Bethany McClean and Peter Elkind.

    There is also a dramatic TV movie based on employee Brian Cruver’s book: “The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron (2003)”

  4. I’am sorry to hear abt ur personal loss.which company did u work for?

    The old movie seems to be very good i will try to find the DVD. In India it is quite difficult to get hold of DVDs of old English movies unless they have been big hits.

    isn’t it strange that Arthur Anderson gave both business advice to Enron plus did accounting for them? Why would AA then challenge Enron and lose such a lucrative account?

    pls mail me at shnkr.2004@gmail.com. lets talk via mail rather than on comments section 🙂

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