The Joneses Review
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Each and every day, we’re exposed to all kinds of advertising. A banner ad here, a TV commercial there. We’re so used to them that we’ve learned to ignore them (or fast-forward through them). We tend to think that we’re immune to those flashy ads for frozen foods and strappy sandals and shiny new hybrids. And maybe—just maybe—we really are. But there’s an even more effective marketing campaign living right across the street—or right next door. And in The Joneses, a high-tech marketing firm is tapping its money-making potential.

The Joneses just moved into that perfect house down the street. They own the latest gadgets. Their gorgeous home is impeccably furnished. Their clothes are the latest style. They throw the best parties and make all the right friends. Their hair is perfect. Their yard is perfect. Even their golf swing is perfect.

But the Joneses aren’t what they seem. They aren’t a real family; they’re a stealth marketing team, sent to sell, sell, sell to their neighbors—and they’re very, very good at their jobs.

Tough, hard-working Kate (Demi Moore) is excited about her promotion to Head of Household, but she soon discovers that it isn’t an easy job. Her “husband,” Steve (David Duchovny), is just a rookie, and he’s having a hard time pushing products on the guys at the club. Her “daughter,” Jenn (Amber Heard), is reaching outside her target demographic. And even her perfect “son,” Mick (Ben Hollingsworth), has problems of her own.

Built around a clever—and absolutely terrifying—concept, The Joneses is an ingenious film about the siren song of peer pressure. Even though you know the Joneses’ secret, it’s still nearly impossible not to get caught up in their little web of deceit. Their world is so shiny and perfect and luxurious. You’ll love their house…their jewelry…their high-tech gadgets. And, like their poor, unsuspecting neighbors, you’ll find yourself wanting what they’ve got.

And how could you not? The characters are so charming—the cast so magnetic—that you can’t help but be captivated. Duchovny, especially, is irresistible as the easy-going new guy who soon finds himself in over his head. Though his character has signed on to con people into buying fancy cars and golf clubs, there’s still something about him that feels strangely sincere. He’s simply likable—anything but the stereotypical smarmy salesman. And he’s exactly the kind of guy who could easily talk you into buying a new shirt or even a new car.

Fortunately, though, The Joneses doesn’t glorify the family’s behavior. It takes a long, hard look at the dangers of keeping up with the Joneses, and the story soon takes a dark turn as the characters’ lives begin to spin out of control. Eventually, it shows that there’s more to life than stuff.

The Joneses is a smart and insightful film, but it’s entertaining, too—an enjoyable little caper that will leave you feeling pretty proud of your Target wardrobe and your beloved old Honda.

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