The Joneses

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The Joneses
Joneses poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDerrick Borte
Written byDerrick Borte
Produced byDerrick Borte
Doug Mankoff
Andrew Spaulding
Kristi Zea
StarringDemi Moore
David Duchovny
Amber Heard
Ben Hollingsworth
Gary Cole
Lauren Hutton
CinematographyYaron Orbach
Edited byJanice Hampton
Music byNick Urata
Distributed byRoadside Attractions
Release dates
  • September 13, 2009 (2009-09-13) (TIFF)
  • April 16, 2010 (2010-04-16) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$10 million[1]
Box office$7 million[1]

The Joneses is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Derrick Borte, in his directorial debut. It stars Demi Moore, David Duchovny, Amber Heard, and Ben Hollingsworth.[2] It premiered at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2009.[3] Roadside Attractions later purchased the United States theatrical distribution rights.[4] It had a limited release on April 16, 2010[5] and was released on DVD & Blu-ray On August 10, 2010.[6] It received a theatrical release in Mexico on August 20, 2010.


Kate, Steve, Mick, and Jenn Jones move into an upscale suburb under the pretense of being a typical family relocating because of the changing nature of Kate's and Steve's careers. In reality, Kate is the leader of a team of stealth marketers, professional salespeople who disguise product placement as a daily routine.[2] Their clothing, accessories, furniture, and even food are carefully planned and stocked by various companies to create visibility in a desirable consumer market. While Kate's team is highly effective, Steve is new to the team, Jenn is a closet nymphomaniac with a penchant for hitting on her fake fathers, and a 30-day review is fast approaching.

The team quickly ingratiates itself into the community, slowly shifting from displaying products to recommending them. Soon, local stores and businesses are stocking products based on the Joneses' trend-setting styles. However, at the end of the 30-day review, Steve discovers that he has the lowest sales numbers of the team, and Kate's job is endangered unless he can get his numbers up before the next review in 60 days. Eventually, Steve begins to find a sales tactic that works by playing on the fears of his neighbors and sympathizing with their dull, repetitive, unfulfilled careers. As someone who is frustrated with his job and disconnected from his fake "family", Steve turned to their products to keep himself entertained. When he recognizes this same pattern in his neighbors, his sales begin to steadily increase as he starts pitching products as the solution for suburban boredom and generating product "buzz" through unwitting ropers.

The team's dynamics become more complicated when Kate applies herself to the technique as well. Realizing that they can boost sales by perfecting their fake family dynamic to sell the image of a lifestyle, the lines between acting and reality start to break down. Things also get more complicated when Mick finds himself growing closer to an unpopular girl at the high school, Naomi, in whom he can confide, while Jenn's flirtation with Alex Bayner, one of the men in the neighborhood, raises the suspicions of the neighbors. The team's cover is almost blown at several times: once when an old acquaintance of Steve's recognizes him at a restaurant, again when Jenn's indiscretions nearly expose her real age, and after a party where Mick markets alcohol to minors.

Eventually, each member of the team finds that the constant pretense slowly erodes their individual desires. Jenn's dreams of running away with a rich, older man come to a close when she realizes that she was being used by Alex. Mick has a crisis of conscience when Naomi gets into a car accident after drinking too much of a wine cooler that the family was marketing to teens. Worse, when he makes a pass at Naomi's brother, he gets punched in return, giving him a black eye.

After amassing nearly record-breaking numbers, Steve is offered the chance to join an "icon" unit alone. He refuses, knowing that this is Kate's dream and because he believes that the "family" can do it together. When Steve's closest friend in the community, Larry, reveals that he's going to lose his house because he's overextended his credit, Steve tries again to see if Kate wants something more than a pretend marriage. She rebuffs him, and the next day Steve discovers to his horror that Larry has committed suicide over the debts. Grief-stricken, Steve confesses to the community about the real nature of his job. With their covers blown, the rest of the Joneses leave quickly and are reassigned to a new home. Steve refuses the offer to join an icon cell and tracks the family down to their new location. There, he reunites with Kate and tries one last time to convince her to leave. Though hesitant she follows him out of town and agrees to meet his family in Arizona.



On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 63% based on 128 reviews, with an average rating of 6.19/10. The critical consensus states: "It doesn't pursue its subversive premise as far as it should, but The Joneses benefits from its timely satire of consumer culture – as well as a pair of strong performances from David Duchovny and Demi Moore."[7] On Metacritic the film has a score of 55% based on reviews from 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Joneses (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 2010-07-15. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  2. ^ a b Borys, Kit (September 19, 2008). "Trio joins 'Joneses'; David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Amber Heard in cast". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  3. ^ "TIFF - Toronto Internationals Film Festival - Joneses". 2009 TIFF. September 13, 2009. Archived from the original on February 27, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  4. ^ Swart, Sharon (November 4, 2009). "Roadside Attractions acquires 'Joneses'". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "The Joneses - Release Date". CraveOnline. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  6. ^ "The Joneses (2009)".
  7. ^ "The Joneses Film Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-05-10.
  8. ^ "The Joneses". Metacritic. Retrieved 2020-05-04.

External links

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