Monday, September 13, 2010


You can't really blame writer/director Derek Borte for going a bit soft on his characters in his debut The Joneses. Look at them -- they're soooo pretty. A film of glistening surfaces and that sharply satirizes the dark underbelly of suburban-dwelling consumerism, The Joneses is an entertaining black comedy for most of it's run-time; it's only towards the last 20 minutes when Borte injects the film with a bit too much melodrama, draining the narrative of some its bite. The cast was perfectly selected given the scenario: The Joneses aren't a real family, but rather, a family of actors who are being paid by a company who is paid by multiple companies to have their products subliminally marketed to the upper middle class. Think a sci-fi-less version of The Stepford Wives. The "parents" are David Duchovny (acting like he's fresh off the set of Californication) and Demi Moore (does she age?); their "kids" are Amber Heard (gets points for going topless and playing a nymphomaniac) and Ben Hollingsworth (what's his secret...?). The Joneses is always entertaining, and at times, it's viciously smart about the way people in this country piss away their money on shit they don't need. In a world where advertising is literally everywhere we look, a filmmaker like Borte (an ex-commercials director) was the perfect choice for this film; he has a keen eye for these people and they way they blend in with their surroundings. He's a filmmaker to look out for in the future.

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