Tuesday, April 13, 2010

We're getting a jones for Derrick Borte's THE JONESES, a marketing maven's dream

One hot, high-
concept lark of a movie, THE JONESES (as in "keeping up with") has hands-
down the best premise we're likely to see of any movie this year. If its follow-through becomes a mash-up of genres -- from a new kind of marketing-themed science-fiction/social satire to black come-
dy & rom-com-drama -- against all odds, the movie manages to hang tough. And, despite one funny, shocking and altogether bleak underwater image that occurs near the finale, you'll probably leave the theater in a genuine feel-good state. After all, how often are you forced to consider the way we (almost) live now, even as you are being royally entertained?

Is what we see pictured in The Joneses already going on? If so, this would not surprise me, though the movie -- written and directed by Derrick Borte (shown right) -- initially may hit you as the next big, wretched step in viral marketing. As the film begins, a father happily drives down the highway, his family in tow, toward their new home. And what a bunch of lookers they are: Dad (David Duchovny, below left), Mom (Demi Moore, below right), Sis (Amber Heard (at left, two photos down) and Bro (Ben Hollingsworth (at right, two photos down). Their new "digs" ain't bad, either: a McMansion to die for. "We're gonna do some damage in this town!" says Dad with a grin.
He has no idea.

Who are these people and what are they up to? The answers provide the meat of the movie, so no more plot points shall be forthcoming here.  TrustMovies will say that writer/director Borte (working from a story by Randy T. Dinzler) gets very good per-
formances from his entire cast, with Ms Moore doing her best work in well over a decade (or two).  Duchovny is full of his usual charm and hesitation, Heard & Hollingsworth are just fine, while Gary Cole (bottom left), Glenne Headly (bottom right) & Lauren Hutton fill the major supporting roles with better-than-necessary skill.

All told, The Joneses is a model mainstream/independent: glossy as hell, brightly colored and whip-smart about the upscale American consumer. You'd do well to "keep up."

The movie opens nationwide in a limited run on Friday, April 16.
(I'll hope to have cities & theaters posted soon -- whenever the film's distributor Roadside Attractions announces same.  Note: It's now a few days later and Roadside's announcement consists of a single word: nationwide.  So you'll have to check your local listings regarding where to view this very enjoyable movie.)

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