Film Review: The Joneses

25/04/2010

Demi Moore stepped away from Twitter for long enough to star in Derrick Borte’s film about consumer culture. Whilst the premise of The Joneses is really quite interesting, the film fails in its execution.

Four salespeople pretend to be the perfect family moving to a new neighbourhood. With the aim of promoting expensive items to their neighbours, members of the unit realise the effect the pretense is having on themselves and others…

The main problem of The Joneses is that it takes a good idea and does not do a lot with it. Instead of a satirical appraisal of our obsession with consumption, the film concentrates on a love story between the pretend husband and wife. Which would be fine, except the characters are not developed enough to make the audience really root for them.

David Duchovny gives a good performance as the new salesman getting to grips with his pretend life. Production values are solid all round; the production design in particular is effective in creating the perfect upper-middle class setting.

The drama is littered with comedic moments throughout. The problem is not in the dialogue, but in the general direction the film takes. More could have been made of the fa├žade, and The Joneses could have been an excellent and entertaining commentary on consumerism. As it stands, a wasted opportunity.

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