Before we start, the idea behind the film is that Dick Harper (Jim Carrey) and Jane Harper (Tea Leoni) are a yuppie couple who find themselves broke when Dick’s company, Globodyne, goes broke overnight. Unable to pay their bills, the couple turn to crime. This is a remake of a 1977 film and it has potential. Let’s see if Judd can exploit it.
Ok, I see you open with a generic Jim Carrey introduction. This feels like a rip-off of The Truman Show, but I know Carrey likes that, so I can’t blame you. Ok, now we switch to see his wife “Jane,” who is Tea Leoni. We’re seeing her at work as a travel agent. Huh. Judd, you have her on the phone with a client who is calling from the airport and he’s angry that he’s trying to board a flight to Russia for a vacation but he doesn’t have a passport and she didn’t tell him he needed one. Ok, look, when you travel to Russia or China or most places overseas, you need to get a Visa before you can book the flight. To get the Visa you need to present your passport at their embassy. So this couldn’t happen... not even close. Don’t whine, Judd. Yes, I know that not everything in a comedy needs to make sense, but Judd... some of it does.
On the plus side, I’m happy to see that both characters drank coffee without a hint of there being feces or human ejaculate in it. Nice restraint. One thing though, they are supposed to be a married couple and yet there wasn’t a single moment in their interactions which made them feel like more than acquaintances. Humans tend to show that they care about each other in their interactions. No, Judd, I’m not kidding.
Moving on. Ok, so here’s your idea. Jim gets promoted to VP of communications. Within minutes, they send him onto television, hand him some talking points right as the camera starts rolling, and then he gets sneak attacked by the journalist demanding to know why the CEO (Alec Baldwin) has sold 100% of his stock over the past year. As he fails to have an answer, we see the stock price fall from 140 to 0. There’s the set up.
Oh boy, Judd. First, a large company like this will have many qualified spokesmen and lawyers who are ready to deny this. And if they can’t, then they decline the interview. No company would send Carrey as an unknowing sheep to get them slaughtered. Secondly, the markets automatically halt trading in stocks that fall too much, so you can’t get to zero. Third, all insider stock sales are reported. So if the CEO sold 100% of his stock over the past year, as you claim, then this would have been well known both inside and outside the company, so how in the world could everyone inside the company be caught by surprise by that? Forth, skipping ahead, you say later that the CEO’s “plot” was to crash the company so he could “sell his stock.” That’s nonsense Judd. He can sell at any time. Crashing the stock only hurts the value of his shares as he tries to sell them. What you really meant was that he sold the company’s stock short... only, CEO’s can’t get away with that. Did you not know any of this? You didn’t? Seriously?
Ok, continuing, Jim goes home to discover that his wife has quit her job. Now you may not know this, but married couples tend to alert each other before they make monumental life decisions like this.
Let’s see, the next morning, their check bounces to the landscapers and they “repo” the lawn. Why would their check bounce? Most people have more than 0.5 days of savings, especially if they have contracted landscaping, which typically is paid in advance or after 30 days. So that’s cute, but that’s not going to happen either. Now his electricity and water get shut off. Again, that won’t happen. They can’t cut you off the moment a check bounces. Also, with them having no money, there are poverty programs that let them get it for free.
So now they’re selling all their stuff so they can keep the maid? Why? Why doesn’t Tea go get her job back? You don’t know? Ok. You do know that being a travel agent isn’t that hard and she could probably get a dozen other similar jobs, right? You didn’t know that. I see. So instead, you’ve got her deciding to become a human test dummy for a make-up company and getting paid $14. That’s, uh, stupid.
So now Jim is day labor and he’s standing among the Mexicans at Home Depot. And he gets punched... of course. Oh, and here comes INS, this is going to be obnoxious. Yeah, as I guessed, the guy who looks 100% white and nothing like the Mexicans around him and who speaks English without a Mexican accent can’t prove he’s an American. Oh, and they are letting some other Mexican go because he stole Carrey’s license and Carrey can’t convince them to compare the picture on the license to himself. Yeah, that’s retarded. Oh, even better, instant deportation... no arrest, no detention, no judge, no appeal, just dumped on the other side of the border. Yeah, that’s not how any of this works.
//looks at watch
Judd, we’re 47 minutes into this turd and you have yet to achieve the premise. You should have hit the premise about 10 minutes in, don’t you have even the slightest sense of timing? Ah hah! Wait! Here it comes. We can see the wheels turning inside his brain. Ok, now you’ve got Jim doing Jim. Ha ha, he desecrates a grave. Ha ha, a dog peeing. AND... WTF?! He steals grass to replace the grass he lost. That’s the idea?
Oh, that was just a head fake. Yeah, this movie needed a pointless head fake to slow it down. We’re now an hour in and he’s being evicted – final notice, 24 hours, and we see the wheels turning. One problem though, this can’t happen. The law doesn’t even come close to allowing this. You typically get 90 days in pro-bank states and 6 months in pro-borrower states, and that’s after three notices. I take it you didn’t know that either. Have you been living in your parent’s garage or something? Oh, you have.
At least he’ll start robbing banks now. Finally, let the humor begin!
Uh... he’s robbing a 7-11... a 7-11 which every human on earth knows has only $20 to rob. Yeah, yeah, brain freeze from the slurpee (at least there’s no human ejaculate in it), can’t get the gun out of his pocket, ends in disaster. When does the funny start? Now he robs an ATM and the guy he’s robbing knows him. Still not funny... just very, very predictable.
Hmm. Now his wife tells him “maybe you’re not badass.” So it takes his wife challenging his masculinity before he finds the courage to perform a “real” robbery. Welcome to the world of Judd Apatow. Of course, now that he’s done it, his wife can’t control herself and they have sex in the car. Yeah, you need help Judd.
Oh hey, a twist. Another Globodyne couple is doing the same thing and they just happen to pick now to rob the bank. That’s almost interesting! Nice work Judd. That’s the first almost interesting moment in this film... after an hour and ten minutes of nonsensical pointlessness.
Well, that didn't last. This only caused Jim to realized that what he's doing is too dangerous and he wants to stop. But wait, the television news now mentions that Jim will be the next employee indicted in the Globodyne scandal for his role in spreading false information. //slaps Apatow Sorry, that’s a reflex. See Judd, first, as you may recall, Jim said nothing on television, he just mumbled nonsense. So he can’t be indicted for what he said. Secondly, his being appointed to the job minutes before the company failed makes this a dead case – he had no involvement. Third, indictments aren’t a surprise; if the government was interested in him, they would have seized his records from day one, teams of lawyers (paid for by executive and officer insurance) would be swooping in to defend him, and he would have testified in the prior trials. So this is 0.0% real.
Now we get to see Jim do Jim in a bar as he pretends to be drunk. At least there’s no excrement, masturbation or cross-dressing... though that might actually help this lame scene. Oh hey, the good bad-guy just happens to be here and he knows how to save Jim by stealing the evil CEO's money... which would do nothing about an indictment except add more charges.
Apparently, having crashed the company so he could sell his stock (wow, that’s retarded), the CEO hid all $400 million in a Cayman Island bank to avoid taxes -- of course, that can’t happen because the stock sales took place in the US. Anyway, knowing this, the plan is to create a fake transfer form listing Jim’s bank account instead of the CEO’s bank account as the deposit account. Then they will sneak into the US branch of this secret Cayman Island bank (excuse me: ha ha ha you don’t understand banking law do you, asshole? That would void their secrecy.). Anyway, they will sneak into the bank at the exact time the CEO comes for a visit to get his money. How they know the precise time is a movie miracle. They will wait for one bank employee to carry the form from one desk to another. How they know this will happen is another movie miracle. At that point, Leoni will collide with the employee and swap the forms and no one will notice that she's not an employee. A third movie miracle.
Oh oh, Jim gets caught. The CEO acts like a jerk, but they get his signature and can now steal his money... somehow. The movie ends suddenly with a declaration that they stole all $400 million and used it “to fund the bankrupt employee pension fund.” Now we’re seeing stories about how all the “thousands of employees” will get their life savings back. Oy. First, the film tells us this money is illegal, so the feds will take it. Secondly, putting the money into the pension fund will only fund pensions, it doesn’t provide relief for losses... no one is getting their life savings back. Third, while $400 million sounds huge, it’s not when you’re talking about thousands of employees. If there are 10,000 employees, then each gets $40,000 back, which is about 1/3 of Jim’s paycheck as an employee. Fourth, this is the type of mistake that can be reversed by the bank before it happens. Even hobos know this... too bad you don’t, Judd.
So let’s see what we have here, Judd. You failed to write anything to give a sense that the characters are real people. You completely misunderstood the stock market, how billing works, how jobs work, how banks and mortgages work, how INS works, how couples work, and how people respond when they lose their jobs. You set up obviously worthless robberies, obviously false evil schemes, and an obviously false solution. At no point in this film did you come close to reality on anything. There wasn’t a memorable line of dialog. There was only one half-interesting moment, and you squandered that. Your scenes were painfully long and it took almost the whole movie before you reached the parts that should have been comedic gold, and then you bizarrely chose to race through those scenes in an idiotic montage. Finally, after avoided all the moral questions your film raises, you self-righteously dump a moral message on the evil rich. Wow.
If you want my advice, Judd, stick to playing with ejaculate... that's more your speed.