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"A suburban couple becomes embroiled in an international espionage plot
when they discover that their seemingly perfect new neighbors are
government spies. " The comedy of "Keeping Up with the Joneses" comes
from exaggeration. Mottola and screenwriter Michael LeSieur play up a
suburban oasis for Jeff and Karen, with the pair living an idyllic life
in a beautiful home. She's an interior designer, he's a practiced
corporate negotiator, and while their marriage is stable, it's become
flavorless. You've seen these characters before, and the production
does little to disturb expectations, highlighting sexual dysfunction in
the household, with newfound summertime freedom inspiring thoughts of
savage coupling, only to have the pair maintain distance out of habit.
There's no twist, no larger message of love. Jeff and Karen are set up
as cheerful nothings easily overwhelmed by the arrival of Tim and
Natalie, who stun their neighbors with flawless style, beauty, and
sophistication. They're incredible, bewitching the community with tales
of international travel and the display of impressive dart-throwing
Gal Gadot is always good at playing at the sexy lady and Jon Hamm was good at playing his manipulating and sly character. There's hardly any jokes that work in the movie, and if it wasn't for Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis's improvisational Comedy it would've flopped big time! The movie had one of the biggest disappointing showdowns we've ever seen. All in all, it's not a disastrous movie, but your best bet is to rent it on Netflix. 5/10. 2/5 stars.
Greetings again from the darkness. Dozens of movies through the years
make up the Spy Action-Comedy segment. Most of these lean heavily on
either action (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Red, Knight and Day) or comedy
(Austin Powers, Get Smart, Date Night). The latest entry from director
Greg Mottola and writer Michael LeSieur offers a more balanced approach
while being somewhat grounded in familiar suburbia. Perfect casting
Comedies are the toughest genre to review because the only thing that matters does it cause you to laugh? depends on the sense of humor of each viewer and even their frame of mind while watching. So what I can report is that the full theatre at my screening was filled with enthusiastic laughter multiple times, along with a pretty steady stream of chuckles and giggling. This will undoubtedly vary from the accounts of uppity film critics who will discount the basic plot and obvious laughs (which is the whole point).
A James Bond-type opening credit sequence sets the tone as we abruptly shift to watching Jeff and Karen Gaffney (Zach Galifianakias, Isla Fisher) sending off their two sons to summer camp before returning home to their idealistic cul-de-sac suburban home. Things pick up when the new neighbors, Tim and Natalie Jones, arrive a seemingly perfect couple played by Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot. They are the type of couple who are beautiful to look at, stylishly dressed, and even show up with a blown-glass sculpture as a gift for their new neighbors.
Of course, this perfect couple is really married spies seeking information from the military weapons contractor where Jeff works as a Human Resources associate. It's Karen who senses something is off about the perfect couple, which leads to her stalking Natalie all the way to a dressing room where she is comically intimidated by Wonder Woman in black lingerie. On a side note, Ms. Fisher does have a later sequence where she proves to be anything but a homely housewife, despite how that dressing room scene is presented.
The men head off for some male bonding at a highly unusual specialty restaurant, leading to one of the more manic sequences in the movie. The four leads are all excellent, but it's Gal Gadot who is the real surprise and her scenes with Ms. Fisher are the film's best. Both are allowed to shine, while the men are a bit more one dimensional. Galifianakias is the all-trusting good guy just happy to have some excitement in his life, while Hamm is the super cool spy (who wishes he wasn't). Both men seem to enjoy the chance to make friends, while the women are a bit more focused on tasks at hand.
Director Mottola is known for his films Adventureland and Superbad, and writer LeSieur is best known for Me, You and Dupree. The impressive thing about this latest is that the comedy mostly derives from character and situational interactions, and the expected steady stream of punchlines never materializes. There is even some insight into marriages that have become a bit too predictable, and the challenges of making new friends when all available energy is devoted to parenting and making ends meet.
In addition to the four leads, there are some funny moments for Maribeth Monroe, Matt Walsh and Kevin Dunn. The brilliant Patton Oswalt is cast as the self-nicknamed villain, and is responsible for one of the film's biggest laughs.
Of course, this is not subtle or high-brow humor, and the story line is predictable throughout. The laughs stem from the contrast of a subdued, comfy suburban life versus the sophisticated, over-accomplished jet-setting couple laughs clearly enhanced by the talented leads. So while this seems like the kind of movie I would usually ignore, perhaps it arrives at a time when laughing is simply preferable to the daily grind of an embarrassing and humiliating Presidential race. So go ahead and give laughter a chance it works even better than a stress ball.
I watched this at an advanced screening and didn't have to pay a dime but I feel like they should have given me a refund. A few people walked out during the first hour of the film, I wished I did. Basically, this film is like a made for LifeTime version of Mr & Mrs Smith, expect with a quarter of the action and absolutely none of the humor. All the jokes fall flat and there was literally only ONE TIME everyone in the theater laughed and it had nothing to do with the movie! There is a scene with Gal Gadot in her underwear (it is in the trailer) and someone in the audience yelled "the b#tch ain't got no a$$" and everyone started laughing. Seriously, this is the kind of movie that will just make you mad because of how predictable, pointless and boring it is. Zach Galifianakis is usually a pretty funny dude but his acting seemed lifeless and uninspired, in other words this was purely a paycheck gig for him. Poor Jon Hamm wasn't allowed to be funny in this movie. Isla Fisher looked bored half the time. Gal Gadot is as wooden as ever. All the minor characters are whatever. This movie isn't worth your time. All the "best" parts are in the trailers. Watching this on the big screen will just p!ss you off. If you must see it my advice to you is to walk out after the first 30 minutes, get a refund and watch something else. You'll thank me.
I've got a thing for spy comedies, I've seen most of the recent ones
and many of the older ones. It's a genre so based on plot twists that
most of them can be seen a mile away, especially if you've already seen
some. This one is no different. No real plot twist is really
surprising, including the final joke. And still, I had loads of fun
watching it, because most of the jokes are actually character driven,
and the characters are very well written, and well performed by most.
That is, Isla Fisher, Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm, are practically
super. Gal Gadot got the warrior woman with the menacing looks nailed
to the teeth, but is a bit less convincing when she has to be sensitive
or subtle. It doesn't happen often during the movie, so it's not a big
issue, but there are a few moments in which she's off character. But
everybody else around does such a good job, the jokes work, and the
pace is fast enough for us not to care it's not so very surprising.
I liked it, most of the people around me in the cinema liked it too. If you don't expect a masterpiece, just plain simple fun - you'll find it here.
It's a pretty good comedy.
The average Suburban family gets a new neighbors, who are more than what they seem. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher made a cute couple in the movie. very good comedy duo in an mediocre film.
Jon Hamm is a fantastic straight man for the comedy that Galifianakis was dishing out.
Gal Gadot is impressive. She's the one who has to keep up with the other three and she does a good job. i don't think I've seen her do anything outside the Fast and Furious movies so it was nice to see that she can do something else.
I know i'm sitting here writing about the film, but for the most part there is really is not anything to write about. It gives you enough laughs so I feel like I did not waste my cash, but it's definitely not a movie you'll remember down the road. Nothing spectacular.
This film was a lot of fun! A suburban couple dedicated to their kids,
careers and cul-de-sac neighborhood have their orderly lives upended by
new neighbors who seem a bit larger than life and turn out to be just
that. The film has fun with the characters (whose personalities drive a
lot of the humor), their reactions to their changing situations, with
everyone trying to keep their priorities straight. The conventions of
spy movies are entertainingly employed and spoofed. Overall, a good mix
of humor and action, and also has a sense of respect for all the
Being in a similar stage of life and circumstances to the main characters (minus the car chases, explosions and such) likely added to the enjoyment.
Like with many modern comedies, Keeping Up With The Joneses just feels
like an extended version of the trailer. The jokes that are in the
trailer aren't too bad, but the rest of the movie doesn't really offer
anything extra. Jokes aside, the story is fairly simple and
predictable, with all the usual clichés and plot twists, but
fortunately a decent cast makes it bearable.
The main four suit their roles very well. I've never been a fan of Galifianakis, but he's strangely likable, honest and down to earth - as is Fisher, to a slightly lesser extent. Hamm and Gadot are absolutely spot on. They're smooth, suave and sophisticated, though I have to say they are the worst undercover spies ever written - they don't seem to understand the principle of blending in, right from the very start.
So it's not massively funny, though there are a few laughs. The action isn't too dreadful (but the cheap CGI is), but likable characters turn this movie from disaster into very mild amusement.
"Keeping Up with the Joneses" is one fun and funny feel comedy drama that seems a little unreal still it entertains! Set in Atlanta, Georgia in an area that's nice a suburban couple Jeff(Zach Galifianakis)and Karen(Isla Fisher)seem to have the perfect life then all of a sudden their life is turned upside down by a new couple who move in next door named Tim Jones(Jon Hamm)and Natalie(Gal Gadot). Soon strange things start to happen and it's seems odd, but soon it appears that an international spy plot might be going on! Aside from that this film is funny and full of good one liners and sexy scenes especially the one of Gal Gadot in the try on room with all of those sexy colored bras, and Tim and Natalie even tie up and duct tape the mouth's of Karen and Jeff's neighbors. Really a wild and crazy type of a film, probably not everyone's cup of tea still it's worth a watch due to it's laughs and sexy scenes a tease with two beautiful ladies in Gal Gadot and Isla Fisher, so if your looking for a carefree feel good time then give this movie a watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Gaffneys' lives are interrupted by the arrival of new neighbours,
whose stunning looks are matched only by the sophistication of their
Tim Jones is an accomplished travel writer, and his wife, Natalie, is a social media consultant, cooking blogger and heroine to Sri Lankan orphans.
The Gaffneys soon find themselves in the centre of international espionage that gives them a glimpse of life outside their comfort zone.........
Keeping Up With The Joneses is one of those comedies that offers absolutely nothing new to the genre of comedy, and basically borrows from films that are a lot better than this, and funnily enough, a lot worse.
If this was made in the eighties, it would have starred Steve Martin and Shelly Long as the atypical suburban couple, and probably Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as the titular couple, and it would have been an absolute smash, because it would have felt relatively fresh.
Jump forward thirty years, and with films like Mr & Mrs. Smith, Killers, Housesitter, and a never ending plethora of fish out of water comedies, it feels stale, well worn, and relies on the star power of the cast.
The thing is, Galfiniakas is way out of his comfort zone playing the Everyman, and Gal Gadot is incredibly wooden in her role. So much in fact, it's setting the alarm bells ringing for Wonder Woman.
So the couple get into scrapes, find a little excitement in their mundane lives, and just like True Lies, assist in the final 'hilarious' act when special guest star Patton Oswald makes his appearance as the end of game bad guy.
But it isn't a terrible film, there are a couple of amusing moments, and Fisher plays the jittery housewife with panache, but you can't see those two as a couple.
If you want a comedy that is safe, and offers nothing new, then you may get a few giggles out of it.
Otherwise, if you never see this movie, trust me, you've already seen it.
'KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES': Three Stars (Out of Five)
The new action-comedy from director Greg Mottola; the man who brought us 'SUPERBAD', 'ADVENTURELAND' and 'PAUL' (all great films in my opinion). This movie is sadly not so great. It tells the story of a suburban couple, that suspects their picture-perfect new neighbors might be government spies. The movie was written by Michael LeSieur (who also wrote 'YOU, ME AND DUPREE'); and it stars Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot. It's received mostly poor reviews from critics, and it also bombed at the Box Office. I found it to be mildly amusing, but mostly disappointing.
Jeff Gafney (Galifianakis), and his wife Karen (Fisher), both live a pretty boring and average suburban life. That all changes though, when their new neighbors move in. Tim (Hamm) and Natalie Jones (Gadot) seem too perfect to be true; their both extremely good looking, successful and talented. Karen right away suspects something is off about the two; and when her suspicions turn out to be true, Jeff and Karen both find themselves involved in life threatening international espionage.
The film has a great setup; I really like the characters and the story, it just doesn't follow through that well. Mottola's direction is adequate, and the performances are all good (I'm becoming a huge Gal Gadot fan), it's just not that funny. The action scenes are decent though, for a slapstick comedy like this. I just wish the movie could have been a little funnier. Like I said, it's mildly amusing though.
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