Save for maybe Bad Moms, 2016 hasn't been very kind to comedy. And after just recently being submitted to such atrocities as The Boss and Masterminds, I was ready for another big disappointment at my local theater. A free ticket to see Keeping Up with the Joneses, as well as a chance of getting a "boys night out" with my neighbor, convinced me to give this latest offering a chance after all. Boy, was I in for a treat.
Keeping Up with the Joneses has this great nostalgic feeling, a kick back to those wonderful 80's comedies that fuse action and humor, while actually making you care for what the characters are going through. It's a bit of the oddball The 'Burbs with elements of classic spy flicks like True Lies or Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Zach Galifianakis is hardly recognizable, after shedding most of his weight, but he still keeps his iconic lovable every-man persona intact. He's also one of two things that keep Joneses moving in a smooth pace, with his perfect timing and hilarious delivery making way for tons of good laughs. Isla Fisher does a decent job at portraying Karen Gaffney (opposite Galifianakis's Jeff), a 40 something mom leading a rather dull life in suburban America, who finds her semi-average life challenged when a new couple moves next door.
Played by Mad Men's Jon Hamm and Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot, the new neighbors seem at first too good to be true: stunningly beautiful, glamorous and in love, they immediately raise Karen's suspicion, although average joe Jeff insists new neighbor Tim is his new BFF and ignores all the obvious writings on the wall. When they eventually expose the Joneses true identities, all hell breaks loose - and the film turns into a wild mixture of suspense and fun, while finding the perfect pace to juggle both. Which brings us to the other strong angle to this film, Gal Gadot, which to me was a true revelation! So far, Gadot has had brief appearances in the DC Comics and Fast and Furious franchises, and she has yet to carry such a big role on her soldier. Her accurate portrayal of Natalie Jones is a great sign of things to come. The 31 year-old Israeli actress delivers her jokes while keeping a deadpan expression, and manages to steal almost every scene she's in with her exotic accent and stunning stature. Actually, Gadot alone is a good enough reason to watch the movie - and throwing her into the heart of every-town America has a great payoff once push comes to shove.
All in all, I found myself laughing, I was emotionally attached to the story and could relate to the characters and at the end - Keeping Up with the Joneses is as good a take as any on Middle America, and the ever so quoted phrase: The grass is always greener on the other side. If you're over 25, married and have kids, you'll love it even more.
13 out of 29 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.