Movie Review: 20th Century Fox's Keeping Up with the Joneses - #JonesesMovie

Keeping Up with the Joneses
Release: October 21, 2016
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Greg Mottola
Written by: Michael LeSieur
Producers: Laurie Macdonald, Walter F. Parkes
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Gal Gadot
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HASHTAG: #JonesesMovie
An ordinary suburban couple (Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher) finds it’s not easy keeping up with the Joneses (Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot) – their impossibly gorgeous and ultra-sophisticated new neighbors – especially when they discover that Mr. and Mrs. “Jones” are covert operatives.

It isn’t every day that Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) star in a movie together.  It is more rare that either would star in a physical comedy movie.  Throw-in Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher, a funny plot and bucket of popcorn and Keeping Up with the Joneses makes for a fun movie night out. Or does it? I went back and forward with this film.

The premise sounds funny.  Two busy-body suburbanites inadvertently discover their new neighbors are covert spies.  Hilarity ensues.   But it didn’t.  I wasn’t hysterically laughing throughout the film.  I expected more.  Zach Galifianakis is usually a funny physical comedian.  He wasn’t very physical in this one.   He was more of a touchy feely character, and it bored me.  Isla Fisher tried almost too hard to do the physical bits, and they still weren’t funny.  I liked Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot in their roles, but they weren’t supposed to be the funny ones.  So, they weren’t funny.  Don’t get me wrong.  There were a few times when the audience laughed.  It was not as many times as I would expect, given the plot.  

The action was fun and outlandish.  There is chase scene which is five kinds of impossible, but fun.  I always get a big kick out of spy gadgets in movies.  Like the comedy, I wish there had been more of them in Keeping Up with the Jones.

At the end of the film, I felt as if the whole thing fell short of the expectations I had.  The trailers looked hilarious.  Unfortunately, the funniest sketches in the movies are all in the trailers. The writing wasn't great.  The plot played unevenly and  I’m not sure that these four actors belonged in a move together. 

It wasn’t necessarily a bad movie, just a cute  and sort of “meh.” But I don’t think everyone needs to rush-out to see it in the theaters.  I feel like this one would have played better if I was in my living room with my Snuggy and a bowl of (inexpensive) popcorn.  If you’re still up for Keeping Up with the Joneses, you can find it in theaters Friday.

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