Monday, September 14, 2015

Movie Review: The Joneses (2009)

The Joneses (2009) - USA - Drama - Rated R
Directed by Derrick Borte
Starring Demi Moore, David Duchovny, Amber Heard, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Gary Cole, Glenne Headly, Lauren Hutton, Chris Williams, Christine Evangelista

An unusual movie premise that still delivers a satisfying story despite going against the conventions of character development and being extremely out of touch with audiences.

A new family is moving in to the posh, upscale, overly rich suburb. They are the Jones family and not only are the neighbors happy to welcome them to the neighborhood, they are also interested in all the latest gadgets, fashions, home entertainment, lawn equipment, sporting goods, jewelry and cars the Joneses are all too happy to show off. Everybody is trying to keep up with the Joneses, but keeping up can be costly, especially as this seemingly normal family is not so normal and has several secrets they are hiding.

In its most basic form storytelling is about the characters involved in the story. Whether plot driven or character driven there is some identity with characters in a story. But what if those characters have no identity? The Joneses takes this unconventional path of storytelling and runs with it. It does make for an interesting story despite not being able to connect with the protagonists of the story.

The movie, for me, has several downsides. The protagonists of the story, whomever they are, are pretty much self-absorbed; the lack of identity alone makes it difficult enough to connect with the characters and it becomes even more so with characters who are all about themselves. The neighborhood into which the characters have moved is truly upscale; if it's not difficult enough to connect with abstract characters add to that an environ that is out of touch, I would think, with the average movie goer. Not only is the movie predictable, the ending seemed rushed and rather like an afterthought that was tacked on to have a nice happy ending, for whomever those people are.

Now I may have seemed to complain a lot, but when all is said and done it is still an enjoyable movie, probably more for its differences than any of its standard ingredients it is lacking in.

My Rating: 3 Fingers

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