Friday, August 06, 2010

The Joneses

Family Portrait

The Joneses review comes courtesy of!

This is a film all salespeople should watch, because it hammers close to home, and contains some nuggets of techniques to impart. Playing out like a social satire on consumerism and advertising, and just about poking fun at everyone who's guilty of keeping up with the Joneses, in literal fashion here a family of four becomes the quintessential personification of just those successful people whom we all aspire to become, emulate, or just plain desire to excel over.

We're introduced to what seemed like the perfect household, where Steve (David Duchovny) spends his time mowing the lawn and playing golf and you wonder how and how much dough and bacon he brings home. Kate (Demi Moore) occupying her time with all things necessary to look hot and beautiful, Jenn (Amber Heard) being the beautiful teenage daughter who's the flower of the school, and Mick (Ben Hollingsworth) the geeky but popular boy whose toys and gadgets make him the go to guy. Recently moving into a new neighbourhood, the Jones family soon become the envy of their neighbours, with everyone lapping up what they drive, drink, wear and have. If you want to be with the cool crowd, then you need to well, keep up with the Joneses.

Until of course the facade is pulled back, and we realize that it's all about in-your-face yet sublime piece of advertising, where product placement both in the reel, and don't forget the real world, are pretty much featured everywhere, allowing you to make mental note to get that golf club, or that Audi sports car if you have the dough. It's about the selling of a concept lifestyle, and this form of getting the word out, through actual talking about, and sampling the product, is nothing but a real world kind of inception, with the planting of mindshare firmly in the minds of the masses.

As mentioned, it's a must for sales people to watch, as it dwells on relationships or the lack thereof, when we fervently pursue numbers that define the occupation, with revenues, sales and profits being the sole focus of existence. Will we trade relationship for that climb up the corporate ladder? Will we not team up with fellow colleagues to ensure we capitalize on each other's strengths? And why not also go all out with joint marketing efforts? It also pays off for looking physically attractive, because like it or not, a beautiful face with the right kind of networking contacts and connections, get plenty of doors opened.

There's plenty to like from this Derrick Borte film from a Randy T. Dinzler story, which examines the effect of consumerism on relationships between family members, neighbours and society in general, critiquing in a nice manner without adding insult to injury when we see shades of ourselves in one or more of the characters. There's plenty of sharp wit, cheeky winks and double meanings going around, that you can't help but to chuckle at, and with the characters, who exercise the mantra of not mixing business with personal, but soon find themselves, through their various character arc subplots, crossing the line with various consequences.

In similar vein with Thank You For Smoking, The Joneses had plenty going for it as you sit back and watch society's faults and woes on display, with a dash of comedy and a tinge of pathos thrown in. For the cynic in me I would have liked it if it had ended on a bleaker note given how society self-destructs when some of us spend beyond our means just to show off, but I guess again in times like these where most parts of the world are bouncing out of a recession, that glimmer of hope about the light at the end of the tunnel would likely be more welcome. Highly recommended, and I'll not hesitate to shortlist this film as one of the best of this year!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...