The Joneses

The Joneses have moved to town. Which town? It doesn’t matter, except that it boasts 5,000 teenagers between the ages of 15-18 and an average income of $150,000. The Joneses—fake husband and wife David Duchovny and Demi Moore and their fake teens Amber Heard and Ben Hollingsworth—are salesmen selling their awesome lives and all the awesome gadgets that make it awesome. (“If people want you, they’ll want what you’ve got,” coos Moore.) And though Duchovny’s commission depends on him posturing to be the handsome, doting, successful man of the house, Moore’s the boss who’s got to answer to head boss Lauren Hutton, who oversees spores of faux families planted amidst upper-middle class suburbs across the country. They’re selling it all: skateboards, Audis, lipstick, golf clubs, Ethan Allen dining sets, track suits, Stella Artois, flash-frozen sushi, lawn mowers with TV sets. It’s a wickedly fun premise that writer-director Derrick Borte turns into sodden soap opera. The Joneses, you see, aren’t perfect. This should be a given; instead, it’s doled out like a surprise. You can feel the film struggling to origami a story from a catalog. In a bait-and-switch, writer-director Derrick Borte drops the nasty capitalist charm of his set-up and forces a romance on Duchovny and Moore that’s more fake than the family portrait over their mantel. This film needs ruthlessness, especially towards the two neighbors—Gary Cole and Glenne Headly, two great comedic actors who specialize in wannabes—desperately trying to keep up with the fam-bots. Good salesmen would show them no pity. The Joneses weeps for them, and we’re not buying it.

Click here for The Joneses in the IE Weekly

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