Keeping Up with the Joneses stars Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher as the most stereotypical, boring married couple on the planet (the Gaffneys), and Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot as the Joneses. The Joneses are gorgeous, sophisticated, multi-talented, awe-inspiring people — and they’re spies.
I fully admit that I wasn’t expecting much as I hunkered down in my seat, but bless this movie for being the highlight of my week. Given the premise, I was afraid it would consist of too much second-hand embarrassment and dumb one-liners from the Gaffneys as they try to navigate high-stakes espionage. I’m so happy I was wrong. You will be too, if you choose to go see it — which I recommend, if you want to spend almost two hours laughing.
Fisher plays one of those nosey suburban moms who’s naturally suspicious of people who don’t look at a house before they buy it, and who are too perfect for their little neighbourhood. It’s only because of her character, Karen, that the Gaffneys catch on to the fact that their new neighbours are spies.
Karen also supplies a lot of the physical comedy, moving around ridiculously trying to hide from the Joneses’ windows. But part of what makes this movie a winner in my book is that it doesn’t rely on just one kind of comedy. In addition to the physical, there are some pretty great one-liners that have enough wit to make the entire audience cackle.
There are also comedic moments surrounding sexual confusion, with each of the Gaffneys seeming to contemplate, however unlikely, how life on the other side of the Kinsey scale would be. Like I said, the Joneses are classically exquisite specimens.
And there is also my favourite kind of humour: the kind that surrounds flipping chauvinists on their asses with what a woman can and cannot do. Mrs. Jones with darts is a must-see.
Of course, this wouldn’t be an action comedy without the firepower. There are explosions, car chases, and plenty of bullets flying in the latter half of the film. Despite the seriousness of the situation, the Joneses and, in turn, the Gaffneys still manage to make light and get the audience to laugh.
There’s an actual spy plot, combined with henchmen and ransoms, betrayal and corporate theft — but when the bad guy is Patton Oswalt it’s hard to take him seriously at all.
Go with friends, take your date, or go by yourself. See if you can keep up with the Joneses.