Mark Metcalf
Moving Pictures review

The Joneses

By - Apr 17th, 2010 04:00 am
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The Joneses opened in limited release across the country this weekend. I suggest that if we lived in the kind of world where people get what they deserve , this movie would sink without a trace to the deepest part of the lake and never be heard from or seen again.

Last time I looked, it wasn’t that kind of world.

The movie stars Demi Moore in all her heavily made-up, coiffed, magnificently exercised and, we are led to believe, surgically altered glory. It also stars David Duchovny, who it seems has gained some slight insight into human nature and some charm after a couple of years working on Californication. Amber Heard heats things up a little as their daughter.

Well, she’s not really their daughter, and I’m not spoiling anything with this, but the Joneses are a “pretend family” sent into an upscale neighborhood to conspicuously consume in the grand American tradition in order to get everyone else in the neighborhood to try to keep up with … well, you should get it by now.  They are very good at their job because they are attractive and everything looks great on them and in them and around them. But, because they are not a true family, because it is all “just a job” to them, the perfect family falls quickly into dysfunction.

With the moralistic fervor of a snake oil salesman, the message of conspicuous consumption is turned into the patented diatribe about “you are who you love and not what you own. ” Duchovny suffers this realization when his next door neighbor, who has been dancing as fast as he can to keep up, drives his zero turn lawn mower , complete with television monitor, into the pool and kills himself.

We will all get to witness another movie called The Joneses, set to open later this year. Based on the trailer it isn’t nearly so attractive but, who knows, maybe it will deal with some truth about the human condition rather than this drivel. It was the longest 90 minutes in the dark that I have experienced lately.

Categories: Movies

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