Do people still say "keeping up with the Joneses"? I know we still jealously observe our neighbors' lifestyles and try to compete with them, but I think the expression has gone out of fashion. Here's hoping The Joneses, a dark and funny satire about consumerism, brings it back.
The Joneses being kept up with here are a picture-perfect family, attractive and slim, with great teeth and apparent affection for one another. Steve (David Duchovny) and Kate (Demi Moore) are the parents; Jenn (Amber Heard) and Mick (Ben Hollingsworth) are their high-school-age children. They have just moved into a fabulous house in an upscale community and have become, almost instantly, the object of everyone's admiration. They wear the latest in fashions, drive the most stylish cars, and have the coolest new gadgets. Soon everyone in town is emulating them.
Which, it turns out, was the whole idea. Twenty minutes into the film, we learn that the Joneses are professional trendsetters, employees of a company whose clients pay them to conspicuously consume their products. The reason Steve uses a certain new golf club, talking up its finer points to his buddies, is that the manufacturer has an arrangement with Steve's employer for him to do exactly that. Ditto the food Kate serves at a dinner party, the clothes Jenn and Mick wear to school, everything. It's real-life product placement.