JEANNE'S REVIEW

 

"Keeping Up With The Joneses" is a silly piece of fluff, but one that I found somewhat entertaining. David will inform you that all of the funniest moments are shown in the trailer, but I don't really care.

 

I think Isla Fisher is so funny and so adorable. She plays Karen, wife to Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis). Her real-life husband is Sacha Baron Cohen, but she and Galifianakis make quite the comedic team.

 

The Gaffneys reside on an idyllic cul-de-sac, where everyone is friends and many people even work together. This seemingly normal life is shattered when a new couple --- almost too perfect couple --- Tim and Natalie Jones (Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot) move into the hood.

 

Galifianakis is very sweet and endearing as a human resource guy tasked with solving everyday work problems and relationship issues for a major corporation. He's nerdy, but not so much that his colleagues don't like and appreciate him. Plus he seems to have the only computer in the company which allows him access to outside sources.

 

When co-worker Dan Craverston (Matt Walsh) comes into Jeff's office to set his lineup for Fantasy Football, I had to laugh. It's the same website, of course, that all men, including David, must use. Talk about product placement. But I digress ---

 

Anyhow, the Joneses are a spectacular looking couple, but they just don't seem to fit in. Hamm and Gadot are truly gorgeous, and if you've seen the trailer, we all know Gadot has a killer physique. One of the funniest scenes has Tim and Natalie arguing over their careers, and Tim complaining about Natalie's choice of attire for a neighborhood cookout --- which is totally inappropriate --- but hilarious!

 

Patton Oswalt has a small turn as Scorpion, a nasty arms dealer with a past he just can't get past. "Keeping Up With The Joneses" isn't outrageously hysterical, but not many comedies are. It's at least much more entertaining than David thinks --- but what does he know? He liked "Mother's Day". (Yes, David, I am NEVER going to let you forget that!).

 

Opinion: Wait for DVD

 

DAVID'S REVIEW

 

The funniest thing about this star-studded comedy are the billboards promoting it. You've all seen them --- "License to Kill, License to Chill". The fault with "Keeping Up With The Joneses" is not in the stars, the problem is the writing.

 

Let's analyze the cast.

 

(1) Zach Galifianakis has become --- more than likely --- the first celeb with a six syllable last name to become a household name. A lot of that can be traced back to his smash performance in the original "The Hangover", plus his hit TV comedy, the mock interview show "Between Two Ferns". But despite his effort here, the jokes fall flat.

 

(2) Isla Fisher showed her comedic chops long ago when she stole the show in "Wedding Crashers" (2005) and later opposite Ryan Reynolds in "Definitely, Maybe" (2008). She gets kudos from me just for being married to Sacha Baron Cohen. Oh, the laughs they must share when away from the public eye. Again, she isn't able to rise above the mediocrity of the script.

 

(3) Anybody out there who doesn't like Jon Hamm? The eternal sex symbol from "Mad Men" is practically a living legend. He comes the closest to evince any laughs from the audience.

 

(4) That leaves Gal Gadot as the relatively unknown factor in the cast, except for fans of the "Fast & Furious" franchise where she has had a recurring role as Gisele. In "Keeping Up With The Joneses", Gadot displays deadpan comic timing, and is a sex symbol herself --- witness the dressing room scene with Fisher.

 

Clearly the accomplished actors are not the problem here. So it must be, and unequivocally is, the writing, right Michael LeSieur? Another factor is that most of the funnier bits were exposed in the trailer. Like the blindfolded woman in the office who trusts her fellow employees to catch her before she hits the floor; or Jeff (Galifianakis) shooting Karen (Fisher) with a poison pen that stuns her; or Jeff fleeing from the Joneses and leaving Karen behind.

 

To be fair there are brief moments of hilarity, as when Tim Jones (Hamm) spouts flawless Chinese when he first meets the Gaffneys. Actually, I can't recall another hilarious example. Jeanne inexplicably found this material amusing.

 

Opinion:  Don't Bother!