Hollywood Product - The Joneses

Even if you can keep up with them, you won’t want to after seeing this film

GENRE: Dark anti-consumerism drama

THE PITCH: When Steve (David Duchovny), Kate (Demi Moore), Jenn (Amber Heard) and Mick (Ben Hollingsworth) Jones move into a posh suburban neighborhood they immediately turn heads. This do-no-wrong family pimps the latest gadgets, the hottest clothes and the nicest rides. Now everybody wants to be like the Joneses, no matter the cost. What the community doesn’t know is the Joneses are a fabricated family made up of stealth marketers whose only goal is to peddle products to their unsuspecting neighbors.

MONEY SHOTS: A sexually frustrated Jenn decides to seduce her make-believe dad, Steve, by climbing into bed with him one night. Expect several intense moments in The Joneses, but to give them up here would be spoilers.

BEST LINE: The Joneses’ neighbor Larry (Gary Cole) tries to get some nighttime nookie from his wife Summer (Glenne Headly) before bed, and she says, “You know my inspiration needs to be the last thoughts before I go to sleep – it’s how I get what I want.”

BEST SALES PITCH: As the Joneses make their way toward their new home in their nice new car, Steve compares the smoothness of the ride to “riding on the ass of an angel.”

FLESH FACTOR: Jenn has no problem undressing and showing her jugs. Larry takes a dip in the pool in his tighty-whities.

TARDY FOR THE PARTY: The Joneses throw a party and invite the neighbors. Mixed in the mass of partygoers, “Real Housewives of Atlanta” drama queens Shereé Whitfield and Kim Zolciak make cameos.

BOTTOM LINE: It’s unclear whether The Joneses is an attempt at dark comedy or ambitious social drama. Director Derrick Borte tries (too) hard to mesh together a multilayered tale about the meaning of family while simultaneously grappling with the consequences of consumerism. The two story arcs are hit and miss throughout, but Duchovny and Moore are a watchable coupling, and amazing performances from Cole and Headly as the no-so-perfect neighbors make up for the film’s many shortcomings. No matter how you choose to view this film, though, it eventually plays out as a predictable, sappy bore.