Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 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

Virgo:

Your intense personal charisma attracts lots of romantic attention. If you're single, you will have your choice of several admirers. Go with the person who recognises and values your creative side. Too often, people write you off as a worker bee. They don't realise what a vivid imagination you have. Are you in a relationship? You and your amour may enjoy a passionate encounter. Satisfy your sensual urges. They are a powerful manifestation of your desire for physical closeness.More