As its generic name of the family that Americans strive to keep up with, The Joneses is an insightful, if not especially scathing, satire from debut director/co-writer Derrick Borte about consumerist manipulation.
An upscale, gated suburb where the average income is “over $100,000” is the hunting ground for a manufactured family of product-placement experts whose every possession is a planted item they subversively taunt their unsuspecting neighbors with. Steve (David Duchovny) and Kate Jones (Demi Moore) are phony parents to surrogate teenage children Jenn (Amber Heard) and Mick (Ben Hollingsworth).
Monthly meetings with their menacing “unit” leader, KC (Lauren Hutton), inspires the group to get their sales numbers up.
Kate sports plush sweats around the suburb when she isn't exposing her well-connected stylist to hair products that only she knows about. On the local golf course, former used car salesman Steve takes lessons from the young pro-shop clerk to quietly influence sales of a new line of golf clubs. It isn't long before the unit’s impact on the community is being felt most by their suggestible neighbor, Larry (Gary Cole), whose ambitious attempts to keep up with the Joneses spells foreclosure proceedings for him and his insecure wife (Glenne Headly).
As a meta-message movie about America’s pre-financial meltdown state of insatiable greed, The Joneses is a canny footnote whose relevance to our economic depression has already passed. Grade: B-
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