Echo Lake Productions

In these tough economic times, The Joneses give us a little glimpse at how low companies may sink to sell us their products.

The Joneses is the directorial debut of Derrick Borte, who also wrote the story and produced it. For his first film, Borte is able to put together a great cast that includes big names like Demi Moore and David Duchovny and young stars like Amber Heard (The Stepfather, Zombieland) and Ben Hollingsworth, who stared in Ashton Kutcher’s very short-lived TV series The Beautiful People:TBL (only 4 episodes before it was cancelled for low-ratings).

The Joneses appear to be the perfect family. Dad Steve (Duchovny) and son Mick (Hollingsworth) look like they belong on the cover of GQ magazine. While mom Kate (Moore) and daughter Jenn (Heard) both look like they belong on a fashion runway in France .

They live in a big, beautiful house that is loaded with all the latest accessories in interior design and the most up-to-date technology gadgets. Steve zooms off to his daily golf date in the hottest sports cars available, while Kate spends her day hob-knobing at the city’s most trendy beauty salon. Mick and Jenn are the hottest thing at their high school since everyone started using cell phones.

They are the envy of their hard-working neighbors, Larry (Gary Cole) and Summer (Glenne Headly), the Symonds. The Joneses have it all and their new in town.

There is just one thing about the Joneses. They’re not really a family at all. They’re fakes! They work for a marketing company, run by a profits-first, morals-later boss named KC (Lauren Hutton), that sends them from city to city promoting new products, in hopes that suckers will buy their clients stuff and drive their sales figures through the roof. 

Derrick Borte gives us something different with The Joneses, which is a good thing. His story is something we haven’t seen before, at least that I can remember anyway, and the result is a pretty entertaining movie.

While the Joneses may seem like they have no flaws, each one has their own inner demon working against them. Steve is a failed golf pro and a former car salesman looking to hit it rich. Kate is more concerned about having a successful career than she is about having a “real” family. Jenn has a very “unhealthy” attraction to older men. Mick has his own secret that he doesn’t want to come out.

The performances by Moore, Duchovny and especially Heard and Hollingsworth are what makes this movie really shine. Glenne Headly is good at being flaky and Gary Cole does an outstanding job of acting as someone who can’t “keep up with the Joneses” no matter how hard he tries.

There are some times when the pace of the film slows down to a slow crawl and the ending is not rather surprising, but Borte does a good enough job of blending light comedy with some very intense drama that makes up for it.

So, if all the sudden, you have an “IT” family moving into your neighborhood. Beware! They may not be who you think they are and definitely don’t buy anything from them!