"The Joneses" DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

8/14/2010 Posted by Admin

"The Joneses"

DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review

Directed by Derrick Borte, Written by Borte, 97 Minutes, Rated R

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

The Joneses are the perfect suburban family. A successful couple, Steve and Kate (David Duchovny and Demi Moore), their two popular and attractive high school kids, Jenn and Mick (Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth), a beautiful house, and everything you'd ever want--a nice car, all the top-of-the-line electronics, a great golf game--but they are not what they seem. They're wolves in sheep's clothing, who move into your neighborhood with their brand name products all carefully placed and shown off for you to get envious enough to buy them for yourself. The Joneses are a new kind of marketing.

In reality, they are not a family. Steve is a failed golf player-turned-car dealer brought into this sales team as the new "husband." The Joneses are among the best in their craft, and Kate has gone through six husbands already, rising in the ranks, nearly management material. But Steve has a hard time adjusting to a life steeped in deception, and he shakes this ideal unit to their core.

For the first act or so, "The Joneses" is perfect satire. In this age of excess and recession, director and writer Derrick Borte seeks to show just how fickle people are with money, how desperate they are to have the cool new thing even if it's far beyond their price range. And he also sheds light on the very nature of those who sell us those things--the dishonesty, the false glamor, the emotional and moral bankruptcy.

Once the family and the tricky plot get settled into their new surroundings, though, the blade on the film's knife quickly goes from sharp to painfully blunt. One sequence shows Mick throwing a party in order to convince the high schoolers he's befriended to try a new alcoholic drink the company is peddling, which results in one of the few people he's truthfully befriended driving drunk and getting in a near-fatal car accident. Is this witty satire or an after-school special?

Eventually it all becomes rather tiresome and overdramatic, but the main constant in the film is its excellent performances. David Duchovny is brilliant and endlessly amusing as the laid back, faux-suburban Steve, who, even in the most melodramatic moments, has an endless charm. Moore is equally solid as the salesman who's more like a housewife than she likes to believe, and Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth, convincing enough as teenagers, manage to fake both playing teenagers and people faking being teenagers. Gary Cole rounds out the cast as one of the fake family's neighbors and one of the more mindless and fateful victims of their con.

As far as directorial debuts go, there have definitely been better, but Borte does display some real talent both as a writer and a director here, and if he's able to rein in his messages a bit and sharpen up his satire, he could be an essential comedic talent in the coming years.

Grade: C

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  1. Anonymous said...

    Takk for interessant informasjon