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Video Rewind: How to Beat the High Co$t of Living

Updated on November 7, 2014
George Segal works hard for his money in Fun With Dick and Jane
George Segal works hard for his money in Fun With Dick and Jane

Have you ever noticed in old movies how life's been preserved for us? We're able to go back in time for roughly 90 minutes and reflect on the past. Sometimes we can even learn from them.

With the economy as bad as it is, let's go back in time when Dick Harper (George Segal) lost his job in Fun With Dick and Jane while wife Jane (Jane Fonda) has to keep up with the neighbors. At first being unemployed wasn't too bad until the money ran out.

The lawn is repossessed, Dick tries to learn how to beat the system, Jane was forced to work as a model (and failed miserably) and to top it off the utility company decided to turn ON the power just as a social worker pays the Harpers a call.

Things were so bad for them they resorted to robbery. With their new found funds they were able to go back to their life of luxury and no one knew what they were up to. They knew there was one big heist they had to pull off.

When the movie was remade in 2005 (with Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni) the bad times to come were just around the corner and we were able to laugh at their exploits but who can afford to laugh now?

Maybe Jane Curtain, Susan St. James and Jessica Lange foresaw it when they appeared in 1980's How to Beat the High Co$t of Living as three friends finding times are tough for them.

Curtain's husband has just left her, St. James is a divorced mother of two and Lange is being sued by her husband (Richard Benjamin) for not showing a profit at her antiques store.

In order to raise funds, Curtain decides to have a garage sale. She doesn't do too good with raising money (and the bank won't let her touch the $487 in her Christmas club account) and can only afford to spend seventy-three cents on gas. When she runs out of gas by the mall she goes inside and the idea hits her: steal the money from the giant money ball that'll be filled by the end of the week.

She calls her friends and while they don't think they can do it they figure out a way to execute their plan. Who'd even know that they were going to take a few dollars from the ball? After all, they'd be robbing from underneath.

While the trio begin planning and plotting they continue to go about their daily lives. As the time draws nearer to robbing the mall, they take a self made psychological test and it's up to St. James to test the waters. She has to rob a grocery store in a nearby city.

The three pile into St. James' station wagon and head to the store and while inside she does some grocery shopping so she looks like a regular customer. Pay close attention when she grabs some meat and the clerk raises the price. Kind of sounds like today, huh?

On the day of the heist their plans go awry but they manage to pull it off and just how much money do they end up with? It's hard to say, but they do end on a more comfortable note.

But we know the outcome in Mr. Mom as Jack Butler (Michael Keaton) loses his job at one of the Big Three auto plants in Detroit. He thinks his unemployment will be temporary but is wrong.

Unfortunately no one is hiring so his wife (Teri Garr) ends up going to work for an advertising agency.

On her first day at the office she's thrown into a meeting and she tells everyone gathered around the table how high the price of food is for a family of five. Somehow she manages to save the day while Jack gets an education of what life at home with three kids is like.

While it seems bad now, we survived but really, who am I kidding?


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