Jokes, Spies, and Suburban Moms

By Averi Cervantez, Staff Writer

Keeping Up With the Joneses is a movie for the parents who have trouble going on a date night because they have four rowdy children under the age of 10. For the PTO moms who believe that fighting with Karen about who is going to make the gluten, dairy, and soy free cookies for this week’s bake sell. This is for the average suburban parents who were once the young and new couple in the cul-de-sac that have now turned a little soft and has lost all sense of adventure in their everyday life. If any of these remotely relate to you, then Keeping Up With The Joneses, directed by Greg Mottola, is the perfect comedy to go see.

One of the coolest jobs in the world is being an international spy. They catch criminals, protect civilians, and have awesome gadgets all while maintaining a cool and sophisticated cover. Tim and Natalie Jones are living this dream job and have an almost flawless cover: a gorgeous, new young couple that just moved into quiet suburbia. Jon Hamm plays the handsome, overachiever Tim Jones who travels the world and writes articles about his experiences all while picking up new and unique hobbies and of course, being an international spy. Mrs. Jones, played by Gal Gadot, is a graceful, sexy, and badass woman  who shows up all the guys at the backyard barbecue and also has killer aim.

One of the coolest jobs in the world is being an international spy”

— Averi Cervantez

Jeff and Karen Gaffley, played by Zack Galiflanakis and Isla Fisher, have the opposite of the Joneses lifestyle. They have lived in the same cute little cul-de-sac for years, have two wonderful boys who were just sent off to camp, work at very safe and dull jobs, and ultimately live an unimportant and routine lifestyle that effects even their romantic life. Jeff Gaffley is a dopey and boring middle aged man who works in the HR department at MB, an aerospace and defense building. Jeff’s job is so belittled that he is the only one to actually have internet in his office because he doesn’t actually know what is going on outside of his office. Karen (Isla Fisher) is your average stay at home mom/interior designer. She is the first to be suspicious of her new neighbors and actually spies on the spies.

This movie was a very safe movie, comedy wise. It had its funny moments, but it seemed very routine and a bit tired. Greg Mottola, director, has produced numerous comedic movies with substance and strokes of comedic genius like Superbad and Adventureland; its obvious that Mottola has the potential and talent to create another iconic comedy, but he definitely played it safe during this movie. Although, any middle-aged adult would relate to Jeff and Karen and that is the reason for the movie’s success.

The actors are also a reason why the movie was great. Isla Fisher stole the show and her cute yet quirky character made her interesting. Most of her jokes played off great and caused a great laugh. During the movie, Karen’s suspicions of her neighbor, Natalie Jones, overcomes her and she pulls off a great spy sequence as Karen follows her neighbor through a café, department store, and eventually into a dressing room for a semi-awkward semi-steamy lingerie scene.

Natalie Jones does not steer a majority of the jokes in the movie but when she is allowed a moment to show her comedic side, her execution is flawless and hilarious. This role is fitting for Gal Gadot as she was also seen in the movie Batman Vs. Superman as the stunning and powerful Wonder Woman so it would only make sense to give her another strong role but with a comedic twist.

Another duo to root for is Jeff and Tim’s new found friendship. As Tim tries to get Jeff drunk to potentially snitch on his co-workers at an unusual snake restaurant (probably the funniest scene in the movie), the two bond a little more than intended. Suddenly, the audience feels a close connection to the two and supports them for the rest of the movie.

Overall, Keeping Up With The Joneses is an easy to watch comedy with an impressive cast. The movie will draw you in with its entertaining tidbits, quirky jokes, and relatable characters. Also, the cinematography is impressive and the special effects will have you jumping in your seat. It is the ideal movie for date night: cuddling up with a significant other, eating a tub of buttery popcorn, and enjoying a good laugh.