Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 22 November 2014

DVD: The Joneses (15)

David Duchovny and Demi Moore are Steve and Kate, a happy, shiny, all-American couple with their perfect teenage children, Jenn and Mick, with their bright white teeth, trim physiques and the very latest luxurious (clothes, cars, clothes) products.

But, as Talking Heads once pointed out, "This is not my beautiful house" and "This is not my beautiful wife". Their pristine lifestyle is a sham. They're not married, the children aren't theirs and neither are their possessions. They're salespeople for a stealth-marketing company whose purpose is to plug "their" wares to everyone in town. Their next-door neighbours (Gary Cole and Glenne Headly) drool over their house and car, the girls at Jenn's high school copy her taste in trainers and make-up and the boys purchase Mick's video games. However, cracks (a sex-crazed Jenn, a secretly gay Mick, a disillusioned Steve) soon start to appear in the ideal family set up.

It's a terrific idea for a satire and, in the right hands (Peter Weir's perhaps?), The Joneses could have had the bite, wit and intelligence of, say, The Truman Show. But the plot feels too disjointed and the film lacks the courage to be memorably dark and disquieting. However, Gary Cole is (as always) thoroughly compelling as the desperately miserable neighbour trying fruitlessly to keep up with the Joneses. And The Joneses would make an excellent HBO TV series.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Sagittarius:

You're moody and sensitive, especially when it comes to family matters. Although you should make a big change, emotional ties to home are holding you back. Stop making excuses for your failure to act. Just take a leap of faith. Your nearest and dearest will learn to live without your constant presence. Becoming more independent will actually strengthen your relationships, not weaken them. Start looking for your own place to live.More