April 19, 2010
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The Joneses is a brilliant new take on the American Dream. Instead of going after it, a company employs people to act as a family and sell the luxury of it themselves. They set up in nice neighborhoods and literally everything including the kitchen sink. It’s kind of similar to how they did product placement in The Truman Show. But in this case, the “family” sells everything but their personal testimonials and showcasing the product first hand.
David Duchovny stars as a rookie seller, a charismatic car salesman plunked for selling a whole new idea. Demi Moore plays his boss and pretend wife. Gary Cole and Gleene Headly play envious neighbors (read as optimal clients). The actors do a great job of conveying all aspects of this situation. With Duchovny being the moral center, we see him use the same charm and wit that he does in Californication. The film follows his beginning months struggling a bit only to set the curve as he gets the hang of it. But, like all movies, it doesn’t last.
First time director does a great job of showing how this type of job would work. It is so convincing, I found myself rethinking some of the things I’ve bought lately. Did I get this for myself or based on someone else’s preference? Do these type of jobs actually exist? It was that convincing. Though the script gets a bit thin in the last 20 minutes or so, the cast steps up to cover most of the ground the script missed. The ending is a bit too ambiguous for most people, but it feels true to the story. Some great laughs. 4 out of 5 stars.