Movie Review: “Keeping Up with the Joneses”

Keeping Up with the Joneses follows the lives of two homebodies Karen and Jeff Gaffney (Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis) who get more than they bargained for when they begin snooping on their new neighbors Tim and Natalie Jones (Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot).  When the empty house on the block gets snatched up in a heartbeat, the Gaffneys wonder who could be so interested in their tiny little social bubble. Feeling already like their lives are a little dull, Karen and Jeff can’t help but be jealous of the gorgeous new neighbors. Tim and Natalie are regal and worldly, and more than the Gaffneys can handle. But when it becomes apparent that the mysterious couple might be trouble, it doesn’t take long for everyone to be fighting for their lives.

keeping-up-with-the-joneses-zach-galifianakis-jon-hammI cannot lie, folks…the plot is pretty sub-par. It’s incredibly predictable and often flat on the humor. Now that being said, this is a pretty freaking hilarious movie. When the cast is as dominating in humor as Fisher, Hamm, and Galifianakis, the plot doesn’t need to be great because the humor will carry it where it needs to go. And these comedy gems held the film together. Even Gadot had some humorous moments and fed into the chemistry of the cast. While some less known names filled in the background, it was the foursome that made the film what it was and worth the watch.

Isla Fisher and Zach Galifianakis have already cemented their credibility in comedy. Who can forget Fisher as the kooky sister in Wedding Crashers? Or pretty much any movie Galifianakis has been in? But Hamm is a surprise to most, since many people don’t know about his love of comedy.  Since he’s most known for his unbelievably serious role of Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men, Hamm has a reputation for his serious acting quality and serious personality. But seeing his tongue-in-cheek comedic attitude was refreshing. Gadot is just becoming a bigger name right now (I believe you may recognize her as Wonder Woman?) and I can see her making a name for herself in comedy if she goes that route at all.  Something about her face lends itself to comedic timing. restrictions-apply-kuwtj-104-br-lst222697

Overall, there isn’t much more to say about the film.  The cinematography does well catching the idyllic attitude of the suburb and the blandness of the Gaffney household versus the outgoing Jones house.  But the plot is weak, and has been done before. It is still worth a watch, especially on a date night (in my opinion). Just remember you’re there for the actors and not the plot and you’ll have a good jaunt.

Catch when it debuts on HBO SATURDAY, JULY 15 at 8:00pm.


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