Thursday, 10 February 2011
Now on DVD: The Joneses
David Duchovny proves what a gifted light comedian he is in The Joneses. It's a shame Demi Moore is her same wooden self and the film barely hangs together.
It's a cute central conceit, though. The Joneses are the new family on the block; Daddy drives a sports car, Mummy holds fabulous parties and the brother has arms, and a smile, to kill for. Behind the facade, they're actually at the vanguard of selling; they're clothes horses for hire, they sport the newest watches, eat the most fashionable of fad foods and do it all ostentatiously – but with such confidence and good humour, it's completely forgivable. None of them are related, and all of them are actors.
All kinds of crazy is going down behind the scenes, however. The son is coming out as gay, and the daughter is trying to sleep with the father. Meanwhile the parents are falling in love with one another – and potentially this'll all ruin the business relationship they have with one another. A relationship which involves competing for sales, naturally.
The problem is that it's just too tentative and placid an experience. It's helped by Moore's blank-eyed performance, but it's mostly because it's just not cutting enough to be a satire, not warm enough to be a character study and not tragic or moving enough to be a drama. The film hangs in a genre no-man's land, flirting with a direction before subscribing to none.
A wasted opportunity, then. But watch it for Duchovny.