Greg Mottola’s Keeping Up with the Joneses stars Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher as Jeff and Karen Gaffney. They are a typical, boring suburban couple who have just seen their kids off to summer camp and have the house to themselves. That is until they notice the new neighbors across the street. The Joneses are an attractive couple. Tim Jones (Jon Hamm) is dashingly handsome and his wife Natalie (Gal Gadot) is simply gorgeous. They quickly fit right into the community and are the lives of the party, no matter where they go. But Karen begins to suspect that their new neighbors are not who they say they are.
Keeping Up with the Joneses has an attractive cast, a promising premise and does nothing with any of it. Quite simply, this film is a disaster. Frightfully unfunny, predictable and just devoid of any real fun, this film suffers from an incredibly inept script that does no work as a comedy, nor does it function as a satire on suburbia. As if that was not bad enough, the espionage plot they have thrown in seems like a last minute effort to fill screen time and to keep those who are suffering through this mess from falling asleep. Too late. The action sequences are routine and dull and whoever cast Patton Oswald as the bad guy needs to have their head examined. This guy is not the least bit threatening or even scary. I had no doubt that our heroes were going to get the better of him.
The performances are serviceable and no one embarrasses themselves, acting wise. But make no mistake about it, Keeping Up with the Joneses is an embarrassingly, poorly made film. It gives me no pleasure in tearing down another person’s work. I mean, even bad films take a lot of time and effort to put together. But I also value my time and money as you do yours and this film is a waste of both. Only Jake Monaco’s score is peppy and interesting. Everything else is on autopilot. I never believed that Galifianakis and Fisher were married because they have no chemistry at all. The whole “lovable nerd” schtick for Galifianakis is wearing real thin and since he is in almost every scene, stumbling and bumbling his way through, the whole gimmick gets old, rather quickly. Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm are interesting enough but Michael LeSiuer’s script is stale and cliched.
I was not actually going to do a full review of Keeping Up with the Joneses. It already took 105 minutes of my time and I did not want to waste any more of my time with this tripe. But I felt the need to vent and to spread the word. Avoid this film and save your time and your hard earned dollars. This film is not worthy of either of those commodities.
Keeping Up with the Joneses – * out of 5
Keeping Up with the Jones – Rated PG-13 for violence, language and sexual situations
Keeping Up with the Joneses – Run Time is 105 minutes
If you still insist on seeing this, Keeping Up with the Joneses is now available on DVD, subscription services and On Demand.