Based on most reviews, it would seem that there wasn't quite as much fun to be had with Dick & Jane as the makers had hoped and the film was a relative failure (at least compared to its estimated budget of $100 million which seems an utterly ridiculous amount for a screwball comedy). Evidently nobody wants to see Jim Carrey pratting around any more, preferring him in something a bit more serious; better Truman Show than Ace Ventura. It is often the lot of the comedy composer that his or her music disappears under a pile of songs and gets only a fleeting nod on the soundtrack album. Therefore, it's a pleasant surprise to find Theodore Shapiro's perky and quirky score seeing the light of day on disc.
I think it would be fair to say that Shapiro is the comedy composer's composer, contributing to the enjoyable Starsky & Hutch movie, Dodgeball and, erm, Not Another Teen Movie, amongst others. A quick look at the track list is quite telling as to how comedy scoring generally done, lots of short tracks and some seemingly random asides. Having said that, the a number of tracks could quite easily be from a semi-serious heist movie (think Swordfish) with some cool David Arnold light percussion and a lots of funky riffs. However, the film's light hearted credentials come to the fore in the Goldsmithian Main Title, with perky, bouncing strings, piano and ticking percussion. The curtness of the cue lengths does become a little frustrating and there are times when greater expansion of ideas would have been welcome.
Given the brevity of cues, only a few really stand out, but the unexpectedly lilting Spanish guitars of I.N.S.! are extremely fetching, even if they are rudely interrupted by more boisterous material. The Hispanic theme continues in Illegal Immigration where Shapiro does a terrific parody of Horner's Zorro music, hand claps and all (not to mention some Morricone-esque grunting men). One oddity that is doubtless better explained having seen the film is The Insects Are All Around Us, opening with a spoken narration and followed by music akin to that in the underscore. As you can probably imagine, there's nothing especially deep about Fun with Dick & Jane, but it does avoid the sickliness that can afflict many a comedy score beyond the more manic elements; Sleeping Beauty is an especially lovely piano led track with the composer delightfully underplaying his hand. Not an essential album, but a delightful way to spend half an hour.