The Joneses (5/10)
Run Time 96 minutes.
Not for children.
The idea of this satire is that The Joneses
comprise a phony family placed in a high rent residential area to market
products. They make friends, have parties, and slyly push products.
Alas, consequences flow, as they are wont to do. This is a good idea,
but writer/director Derrick Borte chickened out and missed a good
opportunity to make a terrific point about the state of American
This is two movies. The first 50 minutes is
unbelievably slow and uninvolving. But after the 50 minute mark, it
picks up. Unfortunately, the Hollywood Ending shows a craven creative
cowardice that dooms the movie to a quick oblivion. Had it ended 10
seconds earlier, it might have been a winner.
At least an ambiguous ending would have allowed the viewers to exit the
theater talking about it, stimulating speculation. As it is, the exiters will probably be discussing where to have dinner.
While the acting is terrific by all the
principals, Demi Moore, David Duchovny, Gary Cole, Amber Heard, and Ben
Hollingsworth, the people in charge of casting had their heads up their
tukkises when they cast Heard and Hollingsworth as high school students.
Hollingsworth is 25 and Heard (who teems with sex appeal; while there is
one shot of her sans shirt, even fully clothed she's hot) is 22 and look
far too mature to pass as high school students. Cole gives a good
performance as a neighbor who gets in deep water trying to keep up with
But this film can be summed up in the John
Greenleaf Whittier’s old ditty:
Of all sad words of tongue or pen;
The saddest are these, it might have been.