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lørdag 16. november 2013

The Joneses (Borte)

Netflix premiere: November 15th - 2013
Play in netflix

The Joneses is built on a genuinely funny premise. The Jones family is a constructed family, put together like a sports dream team to lead an enviable lifestyle. And then subtly introduce products to the friends they make, and have their performance ranked and evaluated by the company they work for. Kind of like they are competing in human click-through rate. David Duchovny and Demi Moore are well cast as the "father" and the "mother" of the "family".



Through this idea, the movie gets to explore, and make fun of, what influences people. How image is everything, and how easily people are impressed by status and material possessions. The Joneses massage egos, impress and fineess their perfumes, golf clubs and vacation packages on the middle upper-class, while getting to know each other.

It delivers a fairly steady stream of funny lines and situations, and Duchovny's laid back cool is enough to keep you interested although the movie runs a little dry eventually. The attempts at exploring the characters and giving them more depth as they experience emptiness from the fakery and charade never really gets anywhere. The developing relationship between Duchovny and Moore is relatively interesting, but nothing more. The portrayal of youth culture is caricature and flat.

But, and this is a big, hairy but, the movie pulls off exactly what the Jones family try to pull off, masquerading as something it is ultimately not. It's a drama posing as comedy, and some of the fake family's real emotions are actually interesting - I suspect opinions will be split over whether, overall, the movie succeeds better at comedy than drama.

In my opinion it's a strength of the script that it doesn't shy away from trying to add commentary to the "keeping up with the Joneses"-aspect of our times. It's not a deep analysis, but it's there and the gravitas of the latter half of the movie makes it a more interesting story although they easily could have managed on comedy alone. Gary Cole (of Entourage fame) makes a solid appearance illustrating the perils and trappings of the obsession with status.
 
IMDB's: The Joneses, David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Derrick Borte, Gary Cole, Entourage

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