By Juliana DiVito
Keeping Up With The Joneses
★1/2 out of ★★★★
Wait–was this supposed to be a comedy? Keeping Up With The Joneses successfully claims its spot amongst other “trying way too hard to be funny” Hollywood movies. The cast is stacked with talented (and gorgeous) actors, but falls short of connecting with the audience and each other.
With heavy-hitters Zach Galifianakis playing Jeff Gaffney, Isla Fisher as wife Karen Gaffney, and John Hamm and Gal Godot as the titular Joneses you’d think they’d be able to pull it off, but the writing doesn’t measure up to film’s star power.
The Gaffney’s are a stereotypical suburban family with a life that’s envied by others. But that jealousy is short-lived when the seemingly flawless “Joneses” move in next door. The dynamic between the two families is strange, and not in a comedic sense. You see, the Joneses are spies. Having drop-dead gorgeous spies as neighbors is far-fetched enough, but the plot stretches further as the relationship between the couples progresses. From fighting off a clearly digitally enhanced snake, to an awkward make-out scene, the script simply plummets. Were there moments to chuckle? Sure! However, those moments were a result of the movie’s poor-attempts to be humorous.
The action scenes do nothing to reflect a movie with a multi-million dollar Hollywood budget. There’s something about clearly fabricated and technically enhanced objects in scenes that is simply a turn-off. High expectations for a well-produced 2016 Hollywood film is not extraordinary, which is why the disappointment is high for this low-quality visual performance.
It’s safe to say that Keeping Up With The Joneses is just another average comedy composed of A-list actors and actresses. Perhaps writer Mike LeSieur (You, Me and Dupree) and director Greg Mottola (Superbad, Adventureland), should focus on ‘keeping up’ with more innovating, and simply funnier, ways to entertain people.
The Good: Did I mention the cast is extremely attractive?
The Bad: Galifianakis and Fisher have the ability to bring humor to the screen effortlessly, but the script’s forced comedy masked their natural talents.
Final Word: Although I wanted to enjoy this film, Keeping Up With The Joneses will be forgotten in a blink of an eye.
Starring Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, John Hamm,Gal Godot, and Matt Walsh. Directed by Greg Mottola.
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rated PG-13 for sexual content, action/violence and brief strong language