Saturday, December 3, 2011
The Joneses. B
I've sort of wanted to see The Joneses since it came out last year. But it's a significant movie that's insignificant, if that makes sense. In other words, it's pretty important, but nothing you really need to put on your must-see list. Still, there's something very enticing about the premise, which is why I finally sat down to see it, if only for some light viewing as a break from some hefty reading. I liked it. It takes a fantastic idea and turns it into a very watchable film. If things are foggy so far, I'll briefly relate what's going on here: The Joneses are that perfect family, husband, wife, two kids (played by Demi Moore, David Duchovny, Amber Heard, and Ben Hollingswerth), lots of money, good looks, and charisma. However, we soon learn it's all a hoax. They work for a company and pretend to be the ideal family so that everyone will love them and do what they can to be like them. It's a consumerism game. Their job is to promote products so that everyone around them will buy them. This is a good piece of satire, but more I think a good story. The consumerism messages are of vital importance, for sure, but they were also obvious and not for me. I know people like The Joneses. I would not recommend this movie to them. It would be an insult. But what if they saw it by chance? Surely they would get the urge to roll up their pants, get some dirt on their knees, and live a little. The Joneses does a good job of recognizing that it's not just a satire, but also a movie. It's biting but it also slowly abandons its juicy ways as the story goes on. I actually preferred this direction. A message about the dangers of too many material goods is fine, but it can only go so far. Writer/director Derrick Borte sees he also has a feel-good entertainment brewing amidst the things he's trying to convey. He puts all his tools to good use, and produces a movie that I am very happy to recommend.