Keeping Up With the Joneses (2016) – Movie Review

Let’s be honest, how many of you actually thought this movie was going to be any good? If you had any sense of optimism before reading this review – throw it away.

Keeping Up With the Joneses is surprisingly directed by Greg Mottola, the same mind behind Adventureland and Superbad, two comedies that I actually really liked. This time around, however, Mottola’s vision has conjured up a movie that is so ridiculously awful that it’ll make you laugh in disbelief. Yeah, it’s really not good.

If you’ve seen the trailer for this movie you’ve basically grasped the entire plot. Jeff and Karen Gaffney, played by Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher, are your everyday married couple: they’re comfortable, content and get freaky whenever they get a spare 45 minutes, and their lives seem pretty much straight forward…until a couple of sexy spies move in next door, that is.

Still of John Hamm, Gal Gadot, Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher. Retrieved from

This review isn’t going to be long, simply because I don’t want the film taking up any more time than it needs to in my life. First off: the spies in question, played by John Hamm and Gal Gadot, are awful at their jobs. They make no attempt to conceal their abilities, they slip up way too often, and they make zero effort to cover their tracks. At one point, Gadot’s character even asks: “You wanna tell them everything?”, to which Hamm replies “who cares?”. You’re right John, who cares? You guys surely didn’t when picking up the easiest cheque you’ll ever make in your lives.

The worst problem with this film, disregarding the grotesque sexism and inexplicably bad comedic timing, is that none of the jokes are in the teeniest way funny. The writing is so diabolically dull that we must question at what point did the cast read LeSieur’s script and think ‘what have we gotten ourselves into’? Its overly reliant on clichéd clumsiness and infuriatingly forced punchlines for its humour and none of it works. There was no moment in the 105 minutes I was sitting through this junk that I let out a laugh – not even in pity. At one point, I nipped quickly to the toilet, unknowingly sat on a seat soaked in piss and thought to myself, “you know what, I’d rather be sat here with a wet arse than watching that crap.”

If you haven’t quite grasped how much I despise this movie, let me put it in simpler terms: if somewhere there is a parallel universe in which Citizen Kane is an awful film – Keeping Up With the Joneses would surely be the best of all time. The action isn’t exciting and the attempted jokes won’t make you laugh. All in all, the film is a disastrous failure.


Don’t waste your hard earned cash.




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