Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Film Review: The Joneses

"The Joneses" *** (out of ****)

Given the current economic times and America's spending habits of the last few decades, the new biting satirical comedy\commentary, "The Joneses" (2010) comes at the right time.

"The Joneses" stars Demi Moore and David Duchovny as Kate and Steve Jones. A seemingly happily married couple who move into a very expensive looking suburban home along with their two children; Jenn (Amber Heard) and Mick (Ben Hollingsworth). The Joneses have every new piece of junk gadget on the market at their disposal. Newest cars, latest fashion designs, furniture, you name it. If it is new and "in" the Joneses have it.

But everything is not what it seems. First time writer/director Derrick Borte has a twist up his sleeve with this family. Shamefully so many pathetic and worthless "film critics" have given away the film's twist. Unfortunately even I knew it in advance. But, I don't want to spoil your fun, so I won't reveal it.

The film takes aim at our lavish and ridiculous need to buy more junk. I was reminded of a famous George Carlin skit about "stuff". It has put us in the down spirial we are in now and the film comes at the right time. Why do people feel the need to buy all these moronic new devices. Ipads, iphones, toilets that talk to you, 50 inch TVs. Who needs this junk? I have none of these things I cannot envision myself ever needing them.

A lot of critics have been beating up on this movie. My only guess is because it has nothing to do with superheroes. Every review I've read said the same thing. How funny. Here is a movie about people being "sheep". Everyone wanting to own the same thing and every critic has said the same thing about this movie, proving they are "sheep" themselves. Ironic I think.

I'd advise people to see "The Joneses". It may not hit people the same way "Up in the Air" (2009) did but the movie is just as intelligent. Both movies I think suffer from weak endings. I would have loved if "The Joneses" had ended differently. It gives us a typical Hollywood ending. Perhaps the ending the director thought the majority would have wanted to see. But I would have liked it if Borte had the guts to give us a dramatically bleaker ending.

I like a lot of the performances, especially Amber Heard as the daughter. Duchovny and Moore had some good chemistry between them and watch out for the beauty queen herself, Lauren Hutton as KC.

I want to put a spotlight on one critic who was smart enough to recommend this movie and had the decency not to reveal the twist, Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News.