Hot Take: If only we had as much fun as the cast.
Give Keeping Up With the Joneses credit for one thing: The cast surely enjoyed themselves. There isn’t a scene where Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm or Gal Gadot don’t look like they are really enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, the movie that results, thanks to a largely stale script with mostly “been there, done that” bits, is just okay.
Keeping Up With the Joneses isn’t close to being the worst movie you could choose to see. It doesn’t inspire a lot of reaction one way or the other, though. It’s your classic “take it or leave it” film. One you don’t mind sitting through, are unlikely to talk about much after you see it and probably will forget about it by the time you accidentally watch it on cable next year. It’s also hampered by a trailer with a heavy reveal which gives you the gist of most of the first two acts. You could walk in for the last 30 minutes and not miss a beat as long as you caught the trailer beforehand.
You have to respect the commitment with which the four main characters deliver their roles though. It doesn’t overcome the generic nature of this twice baked story but the foursome deliver strong enough to at least make this mediocre movie a breeze to sit through. Galifianakis is seemingly always committed to his roles. Even in the recent misfire Masterminds, he sells that he thinks he’s in a masterpiece even if it’s a flushable product. Fisher and Gadot share the screen frequently and the two have excellent chemistry. Hamm sheds his Mad Men persona and is very believable as a spy even if this is a spoof.
The lack of strong laughs are the ultimate downfall of this movie. Keeping Up With the Joneses never brings those one or two scenes you talk about for days afterward and there’s really nothing new within the storyline that you can’t get somewhere else. Outside of Gadot in some racy lingerie (a scene you get for free from the trailer, by the way), there’s nothing else to speak of that will stick with you after the credits roll.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Just Four Fun
While the movie itself isn’t a blast, it seems like the four stars really hit it off. These four could have used a better script and the way Hollywood works, they may get a chance to work together again in the future. That wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
- It Never Keeps Up
This cast has potential but it never gets there. The material fails the cast and shorts the audience on their entertainment investment.
- How Many Movies About Middle-Aged Couples Trying to Spice Up their Dull Lives Do We Need?
One less wouldn’t have been a bad idea.