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Keeping Up With the Joneses
Desperate for a good laugh? This, unfortunately, isn’t it.
Writer Mike Lesieur has cobbled together a rehash of just about every spy comedy bit of shtick there is, assembling a script that’s as dull as its cul-de-sac setting. Try as he might, we’re going to have a hard time buying Zach Galifianakis as a mild, middle-management suburbanite. And Isla Fisher, too, gives off much too much natural spark to convince us she’s a traditional wife and mom. Of course, they’re more sympathetic than their excruciating neighbors, who spout terrible jokes and oogle the sexy new kids who’ve just moved into their circle.
Ah yes, it’s the gorgeous Gal Gadot and Jon Hamm, clearly too exotic for this ‘hood. No one but Isla figures that out, though. Zach’s too sweet for this world, thinking Jon’s looking for a friend. But, of course, we know the Joneses are tooling around in their slinky black underwear and their slinky black Mercedes with other things on their minds.
It should be noted that while all the actors bring a certain star level to the screen, it’s Hamm who manages to actually give a surprisingly well thought out performance. And there are a few moments when director Greg Mottola (of the far superior Superbad and Adventureland) raises the level here. But they don’t come until we’ve been subjected to a high concept package of been-there-done-that so ho-hum, it’s tough to rev up our enthusiasm to want to keep up with these Joneses or their bland neighbors.