PLOT: A family of four moves in to an upper-class gated community and immediately starts putting on a show with all of their new toys and fancy things. They seem perfect and so do their things, so what's their secret? You'll have to try and keep up.
WHO'S IT FOR? This is a good adult comedy with a great look into the lives of the upper-class and their marketing influences.
EXPECTATIONS: I knew very little about this film except for Duchovny and Moore being in it. So for me, I didn't know if I was watching a comedy, thriller or what.
David Duchovny as Steve Jones: Duchovny is perfectly cast as a car-salesman-turned-more in this film. He actually reminds me quite a bit of Hank Moody from his show "Californication." True, there isn't as much sex and drugs but there is that casual way about him when he delivers sarcasm. Score: 8
Demi Moore as Kate Jones: If Duchovny is perfectly cast, then Moore is perfection beyond belief. Her face, heck her entire body, looks like it was chiseled from stone. Kate is the leader here, as Steve fills in the slacker/fun dad role. Kate is driven, cold and yet can turn on the smile and charm better than anyone. Score: 10
Gary Cole as Larry: He's the neighbor, who in fact, is trying to keep up ... with the Joneses. The character of Larry is drawn a little too standard. There's no real heartfelt truth to him, but thankfully Cole is playing this guy. Cole is able to eek out every ounce of "guy next door" quality possible. Score: 7
Ben Hollingsworth as Mick Jones: He's the perfect high school friend. He has every video game/skateboard/toy imaginable, but he's also stuck with a secret none of the others in the house have to deal with. I would have liked a little more screen time for him. Score: 7
Amber Heard as Jenn Jones: Sex pot. Jenn goes after any older man she can get her hands on. There's really not much more to say about her. There's a good bit of tension with this character because you are always wondering when she's going to get caught. Score: 7
TALKING: There is some really good banter between Steve and Kate such as ... Kate: "I have to make sure my unit is selling their products." Steve: "You have a unit? That would explain why we're in separate bedrooms perhaps." OK, that one does sound like it's straight out of "Californication." There's also an unintentionally hilarious Tiger Woods joke in the film that could be the accidentally funniest moment in the movie. Score: 8
SIGHTS: The toys are great and yes, I'm actually interested in some of the products displayed in this film. Flash frozen sushi? I'm willing to try it. Plus, what kid doesn't want some crunk juice looking Caprisun product? Score: 8
SOUNDS: Ouch, this one is my fault. I saw this film two weeks ago. I'm just now writing the review. Here's the problem, I don't remember one single stand-out musical moment in this film. Wait a minute ... I write great notes, and if I don't remember the music, it means it was forgettable. I'm taking a stand here. This is not my fault. Score: 5
BEST SCENE: The movie is at its most fun when the Joneses are pushing product. The most amusing is when Steve is trying to explain that it's natural for a family to have problems ... to his fake family.
ENDING: Here's the problem (yes I'm talking about the entire ending): It tried to accomplish everything and went in way too many emotional directions.
QUESTIONS: Why is a car salesman who has been given a golden opportunity so laid back about the whole thing?
REWATCHABILITY: Yes. It moves quickly, and most of it isn't too heavy. It'd be easy to sit through again.
It's an idea so simple, it's amazing this concept hasn't already been done to death. The phrase "Keeping up with the Joneses" has accelerated to what is now simply marketing genius. The Joneses captures that idea perfectly with the meticulously groomed Duchonvy, Moore, Hollingsworth and Heard leading the way. This film is at its best when it is showing you how susceptible other people can be when it comes to new toys. And by toys I mean, the latest golf, TV, workout gear and food around. Yes, the film tries to be a little too much at the end. It doesn't know exactly what genre it wants the last 20 minutes to fall into. But until then, it's a wild ride with a great con-family.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10