It’s a tale as old as time: a cute, mild-mannered, sheltered suburban couple become friends with the new neighbours, but when the said neighbours’ “perfection” become saccharin, it raises suspicions and then BOOM! it turns out they’re spies. Okay, so it’s maybe not quite a classic tale, but we’ve definitely seen it - or at least a variation of it - before. Perhaps many times. Exhibit A: ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ (2005). Exhibit B: ‘Killers’ (2010). Exhibit C: ‘Date Night’ (2010).
I’m not going to rehash the plot to ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’ because I pretty much just gave it to you, minus a few unnecessary details. Here’s what you do need to know: this movie stars Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis, Joh Hamm and Gal Gadot. Fisher and Galifianakis have more comedic talent in their pinkie fingers than half the yobbos currently with their own sitcoms ever will. Hamm proved his comedic chops in ’30 Rock’, ‘Bridemaids’ and a slew of unsuspected cameos here and there. And as for Gal? Well, she’s frickin’ Wonder Woman, she doesn’t need to be funny. My point is this - ‘The Joneses’ is a gobbler from the get-go and for the entire hour and 45 minutes you sit there writhing is pain for the vast waste of talent on the screen before you, and your impulsive need to laugh with them despite the jokes not being there. It sadly falls flat every step of the way save for a few minor chuckles, always courtesy of Zach.
I don’t know where this thing went wrong. It has a killer cast and Greg Mottola at the helm, a man whose credits include ‘Adventureland’, ‘Superbad’ and ‘The Newsroom’. Okay - I lied, I’m pretty sure I know exactly where this went wrong. It’s gotta be the uninspired plot combined with a humourless script thanks to Michael LeSieur - a man whose credits include a shortlived TV series five years ago, a movie no one’s ever heard of and ‘You, Me and Dupree’. ‘Nuf said.
It’s gotta be the uninspired plot combined with a humourless script.
You remember when you did something wrong and out of character as a kid and your parents, teacher, whomever would say, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed,” and that hurt ten times worse than if they just yelled at you? That’s how I feel right now about ‘The Joneses’. I’m not mad, just disappointed.