Monday, October 24, 2016

Keeping Up with the Joneses

is a movie with moments that are so intensely awkward that they were almost physically painful to watch.  I wanted to like it, and I did like many parts of it, but in the end I wished I had waited to watch it at home, where I could pause it and escape the awkwardness from time to time.

The basic plot is obvious from the trailer, so I won't review it, but it is enough to serve as the foundation for a movie.  Jon Hamm turns in exactly the performance you'd expect and is plenty good enough.  Gal Gadot is coldly radiant, again exactly what you want from her character.  Isla Fisher is better than I expected, though she cannot carry off being as plain as the filmmakers seem to want us to think she is; she manages to look less than stunning only when she's next to Gadot.

The problems are Zach Galifianakis and the filmmakers' decision to make his character the most important one in the movie.  He turns in the most toned-down performance I've yet seen from him, but it's still too much.  The script is probably more to blame than he is, but in scene after scene he is the weakest and most awkward actor on screen.

If you're a Gal Gadot completist, or if you don't mind awkward humor, check out Keeping Up with the Joneses.  Otherwise, give it a pass.

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