Dick Harper (Jim Carrey) has been promoted to Vice President of Communications for a large media corporation known as Globodyne. The following day, he is on a television program with presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who calls Globodyne "perverters of the American dream", claiming it helps the super-rich get even wealthier. As they speak, Globodyne's stock value tanks, rendering all investments – including all the employees' savings and pensions – worthless. Dick arrives home, where his wife Jane (Téa Leoni) tells him that she quit her job as a travel agent following his promotion in order to spend more time with the family. Dick breaks the news of the company's failure over dinner. Despite his attempts, Dick is unable to find another job with comparable pay, and within a short time, the family is facing bankruptcy.
After accepting the prospect of being poor, Dick and Jane apply for low-paying jobs. Both are unable to keep them, and soon their utilities are cut off, forcing them to sell off personal property to stay afloat. When they are confronted with a 24-hour eviction notice, Dick decides to turn to a life of crime. After several failed robbery attempts, Dick and Jane successfully rob a head shop. They begin nightly robbing sprees and become more comfortable and professional over time; they have soon stolen enough money to pay off their house and car, both of which were about to be repossessed. For one last heist, Dick and Jane plan to rob a local bank. All goes as planned until the Petersons – another couple formerly employed at Globodyne – make an amateurish attempt to rob the same bank. The Petersons are quickly arrested, and the Harpers take advantage of the hysteria to evade police and escape.
After watching news footage of the arrests and other crimes committed by former Globodyne employees, the Harpers decide to cease criminal activity and live a normal life again. Dick, however, discovers that he's about to be indicted for his unwitting role in Globodyne's demise. At a local bar, Dick encounters Frank Bascombe (Richard Jenkins), the former CFO of Globodyne, who is drunk and guilt-ridden. Frank tells Dick the company's crooked CEO Jack McCallister (Alec Baldwin) diverted all of Globodyne's assets and dumped all of his stock, thus ruining the company and its employees while escaping with a $400-million fortune. Frank, who is about to go to prison after a failed attempt to expose McCallister's crimes, has received a $10 million bribe from McCallister in exchange for his silence.
After learning about McCallister's scheme, Dick, Jane and Frank decide to take revenge. Frank tells them McCallister plans to transfer his $400 million in bearer bonds to an offshore account. Dick and Jane intercept the transfer form inside the bank and substitute a fake form, transferring the funds to an account Frank has established. McCallister notices the account number on the form and demands to have it corrected. Dick confronts McCallister and demands that he sign a blank check. Knowing Dick's threats are empty, McCallister writes him a check for $100 and leaves the bank. Dick tells Jane that was his contingency plan; Jane, an art major, can now forge McCallister's signature.
The next day, McCallister is mobbed by reporters and former Globodyne employees, all praising him for his generosity. Dick appears, and as McCallister's vice president, hands him a prepared statement, which McCallister reads on live television. McCallister is shocked to announce that he has transferred $400 million to a trust fund to support Globodyne's defunct pension plan in gratitude to his former employees. Dick and Jane lead the cheers from the crowd, while McCallister faces them, unable to expose the two without revealing his own crimes. A news report later shows Dick and Jane delivering pension fund checks to former Globodyne employees, including the now-imprisoned Petersons, while reporting that McCallister's net worth has been reduced to only $2,283.
A year later, Dick's family drive a rusty old Volkswagen into the sunset. While Billy is teaching his parents Spanish, a Bentley containing Dick's friend Garth (John Michael Higgins) approaches. Garth tells Dick he has a new job at a company called Enron.
The film is based on the novel of the same name by Gerald Gaiser which was previously filmed in 1977. Peter Tolan wrote the first draft of the screenplay. In June of 2003 it was announced that Jim Carrey would star in the film with Barry Sonnenfeld directing and Brian Grazer producing. On July 14th 2003 it was announced that Cameron Diaz would star opposite Carrey. The same day it was also reported that the Coen brothers would rewrite the script. On July 3rd it was announced that Sonnenfeld had left the film, six weeks before the start of production. Production was postponed until after Carrey had completed his next film Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. On October it was announced that Dean Parisot would replace Sonnenfeld as director and that production would start in June 2004. Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller worked on the script with Parisot. Diaz then left the film. On July 21, 2004, it was announced that she would be replaced by Téa Leoni.
The film had more than two weeks of reshoots and numerous rewrites. David Koepp, Ed Solomon, Ted Griffin and the team of Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer all did uncredited rewrites.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Fun With Dick and Jane has an approval rating of 29% based on 132 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The site's critical critical consensus reads, "This muddled comedy has a few laughs, but never sustains a consistent tone." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 47 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Justin Chang of Variety wrote "The rare Hollywood remake that, by daring to reinterpret its source material within a fresh political context, actually has a reason to exist". Manohla Dargis of the New York Times commented that "... the film never settles into a groove, zigging and zagging from belly laughs to pathos ..."
After a disappointing opening weekend of $14,383,515, the film played in theaters throughout the holiday season, making nearly eight times its opening weekend gross. It eventually earned $110,332,737 at the domestic box office, and $91,693,375 in international receipts, for a total, worldwide revenue of $202,026,112. The film's budget was $100 million. It is one of twelve feature films to be released in over 3,000 theaters and improve on its box office performance in its second weekend, increasing 14.9% from $14,383,515 to $16,522,532.
The score by Theodore Shapiro written for the film was released on January 24, 2006.
The following songs are featured in the film, but are not included on the soundtrack:
- "I Believe I Can Fly" - R. Kelly
- "Smooth Operator" - Sade
- "Right Place Wrong Time" - Dr. John
- "What I Got" - Sublime
- "Sandstorm" - Darude
- "Why Me Lord" - Johnny Cash
- "Wedding" - Randy Newman
- "Time Bomb" - Rancid
- "Uncontrollable Urge" - Devo
- "Insane in the Brain" - Cypress Hill
- "Alive & Amplified" - The Mooney Suzuki
- "The Best Things in Life Are Free" - Sam Cooke