Pin It
Favorite

The Joneses 

Everyone else is watching it — why aren’t you?

click to enlarge art15476.jpg

Ah, those irritable Joneses. we always find ourselves trying to keep up with their fancy cars, their whiz-bang gadgets, their gaudy baubles.

Turns out they’ve been cheating all along. Steve Jones (David Duchovny), his wife, Kate Jones (Demi Moore), and their children may be the next-door neighbors, but they’re also bought and paid for by all the companies whose products they’re using. It’s Life™, the ultimate advertisement.

Some may scream “spoiler” and prepare to hurl things at me because I “ruined the movie” by telling you this, but that’s not really fair. After all, if I left it out of my description of the plot, what could I say? “It’s a bunch of people who live in a town, and, uh.…” as a movie, The Joneses won’t exactly blow your mind — the acting, writing, cinematography and typical cinematic forms are bland, if serviceable. But as a thought experiment, it’s a fantastic exploration of the loss of delineation between advertising and entertainment. That’s why it doesn’t matter if you know the movie’s twist.

At first glance, The Joneses seems like any other — which only serves to underscore the insidious nature of its message. We’re used to seeing name-brand products in movies: Spock uses a Nokia phone in Star Trek, Will Smith clops around in Chucks (“vintage 2004”) in I, Robot, and E.T. scarfs down his Reese’s Pieces in E.T. and who can forget the volleyball’s star turn as “Wilson” in Cast Away?

Perhaps that’s the best part.

The Joneses seems like a normal movie only because we see so much advertising in our everyday lives. Hell, they wouldn’t be able to call it The Joneses if our own neighbors didn’t keep buying up iPods, iPads and other iCurios like they’re Picassos at a yard sale.

Watching this DVD is like watching ourselves in a mirror. Sure, it’s a damned expensive mirror (there must be some irony in watching a film about consumerism on a 32-inch flat-screen), but to go too long without taking a good look at ourselves is to invite pervasive advertising — which we all claim to hate — with open arms.

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in Film

  • Dog of a Story
  • Dog of a Story

    Max wastes a promising idea on forgettable characters
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • The Me Problem
  • The Me Problem

    How to read the emotional emergence from narcissism in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • Hot Property
  • Hot Property

    Sundance darling Dope gets its day in the sun
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas

Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas @ The Bartlett

Thu., July 2, 8 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

or

More by Dan Herman

  • Bob's Burgers
  • Bob's Burgers

    A new animated feature that's still impossible to describe in a sentence.
    • Jan 5, 2011
  • Waking Sleeping Beauty
  • Waking Sleeping Beauty

    The death and rebirth of Disney animation
    • Dec 29, 2010
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Boardwalk Empire

    Like Mad Men, only 40 years earlier and less fixated on the props.
    • Dec 1, 2010
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • All Man

    Gregg Allman has experienced much turmoil, but he perseveres with his mix of blues, rock and country
    • Jun 24, 2015
  • Lightening the Mood

    Local metal quartet Mercy Brown garners fans around the globe thanks to a viral video
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
Music & Film

Film


Music


Review


Indie Rock


Elkfest


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation