Keeping Up With the Joneses
Release year: 2016
Director: Greg Mottola
Screenwriter: Michael LeSieur
Starring: Zach Galifianakis, Isla Fisher, John Hamm, Gal Gadot, Patton Oswalt, Ming Zhao, Matt Walsh, Kevin Dunn
A new seemingly perfect couple moves in to the suburban neighbourhood of Karen (Fisher) and Jeff (Galifianakis). Karen quickly becomes suspicious of the perfect couple and spies on the wife, Natalie (Gadot), while Jeff is bonding with the husband Tim (Hamm) over snake wine. It turns out Karen is right; Natalie and Tim are spies.
Like in the 2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith spies enter suburbia and hell breaks loose. Mainly because of the noosy neighbours, led by the adorable Fisher (Wedding Crashers, 2005), who with her great sense for comedy plays Karen with a perfect blend of bored housewife and Nancy Drew wanna be. Galifianakis (The Hangover, 2009) is mostly known for his roles playing strange and socially awkward characters, but he pulls of boring, plain and sweet very well. The two are a picture-perfect example of next door neighbours and easy to relate to. Opposite them, the tall, dark and handsome Gadot (Wonder Woman, 2017) and Hamm (Million Dollar Arm, 2014) looks the part as the perfect couple everyone wants to be or at least know. The dynamic between the four is great, especially between Hamm and Galifianakis who share great chemistry in their snake wine dinner scene. The movie moves from tender comedy to espionage action in a heartbeat without losing its step and delivers good entertainment.
Scriptwriter Michael LeSieur was intrigued by husband-and-wife super-spies, such as those depicted in films like Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) – and by a married duo he envisioned living across the street from such a stealthy couple. He said: “I kept wondering, what this average husband-and-wife would think about all the craziness going on in the spies’ house. There’s a whole other movie going on from the neighbors’ perspective. I started thinking about that and combining it with some aspects of the lives of my friends living on their beloved cul-de-sac.”
Picture copyrights: Warner Homed Video
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