Keeping up with “The Joneses” gets a whole new meaning
Dan Culberson | May 2, 2010
The Joneses is a modern “morality tale” that could have been much better if the filmmakers had gone for the satirical jugular instead of watering it down with cheap, easy melodrama.
Demi Moore and David Duchovny play Kate and Steve Jones, they have two teenage children named Jenn and Mick, and they are moving into a new town.
The first thing we notice to be odd about this typical American family is when they are all in the car driving toward their new home and Steve says, “We’re going to do some damage in this town.”
Then after all their fancy new furniture has been moved in and they have received a welcome visit from their new neighbors Larry and Summer Symonds, the second thing we notice to be odd about the Joneses is that Steve and Kate wear matching new pajamas to go to bed, but they sleep in separate bedrooms.
The next day, Steve meets Larry for a round of golf and Kate goes into town to get her hair done, and there is a reason that they both have
fancy new “stuff” with them that they are more than happy to show off and talk about to anyone who will listen.
But the third thing we notice to be odd is that evening, Kate and the kids didn’t bother waiting for Steve to come home, and he has to eat his dinner alone.
However, the fourth odd thing is the kicker. That night a naked woman slips into Steve’s bedroom and slides into bed with him. But before anything can happen, Kate comes to the door, turns on the lights, and tells Jenn to get out of Steve’s bed.
You guessed it. The Joneses aren’t a typical American family after all. In fact, they aren’t even a family. They are a team of actors who didn’t even know each other until they were hired by a company to move into a new town and persuade the people they meet to buy the fancy new products that they have and use for themselves.
Even the toilet bowl in their bathroom is an advanced new product.
THE JONESES has a nice little twist at the end, and it gives a whole new meaning to “Keeping up with the Joneses” and blatant product placement in movies these days.
I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”
“Hotshots” is a weekly movie review by Dan Culberson available on KGNU Community Radio (88.5 FM in Boulder and 1390 AM in Denver, on Filmchannel1, and on Boulder Reporter. Culberson has been reviewing films since 1972 for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.