DAVID DUCHOVENY DEMI MOORE LAUREN HUTTON GARY COLE
Consumerism is an aspect of media and society that affects our daily unconscious. Often product placement will be clearly visible in mainstream film or part of the modern set decoration. The Joneses takes a fascinating look into a devious and deceptive form of marketing and the lengths third party companies stoop to advertise, promote and sell. This dark comedy manages to make a clear statement on the dangers of obsessive consumerism while delivering a script that is witty, comical and original. Duchoveny (The X Files, Californication) and Moore (Mr. Brooks, Flawless) are perfectly cast and deliver some of their most impressive recent performances.
Steve (Duchoveny) and Kate (Moore) Jones along with their two children appear like just another rich couple next door with the latest gadgets, tasteful attire and finer vehicles. However, the Joneses are on the clock, they have just moved into their new neighborhood to sell everything they use, wear and drive to everyone they meet. They are a fully functional product placement family. Lead by Kate who is an expert at selling and creating “the ripple effect” with women’s products; Steve has just started his new career and relishes the idea to experience being in a family, even a fake one. Yet like any family problems arise putting their operation in danger and threatening sales.
One can’t help but be reminded of Laura Linney’s character in The Truman Show which seems to be running in the same vein as The Joneses. What works so well is that the concept presented here doesn’t appear that foreign, with today’s desperate need to improve sales and promote interest, it doesn’t ask the audience to suspend reality a great deal. With the right amount of snarky writing and two perfectly cast actors a point is being made alongside the entertainment value. Director/writer Derrick Borte understands the need to keep the pace moving and introduce enough subplots to keep the audience anticipating what happens next.
The driving force for this picture is the originality; it takes a very current evolving issue and uses it in a creative screenplay with pitch perfect performances to deliver a wildly entertaining film. The film’s biggest pitfall happens near the end when just as chaos begins to occur we are jolted back to the fact that this game cannot continue and some kind of ending must present itself. By the end of the film the actors have made their characters so interesting we could have endured them for a bit longer. The films staying power will depend on critics and the studio’s willingness to push it later in the year during the awards circuit, but keep an eye on this screenplay.
Final Thought- Originality that hopefully will have a ripple effect through this years screenplays.
By: Dustin Chase W. Editor: Jennifer Gih