Despite a few laughs dotted throughout, Keeping Up With The Joneses doesn’t bring anything new to the comedy genre, it feels well worn and retreads cliches told better in other spy/comedy films. Relying on its stars to elevate the film, beyond a few stand out moments the film is highly forgettable and unfortunately stays too close to its comfort zone to try anything outside the box.
The story follows the Gaffneys, an average suburban couple who’s lives are changed when a new couple, the Joneses, move in next door. Jeff Gaffney (Zach Galifianakis) immediately takes a shining to Tim Jones (Jon Hamm) whos chiselled face and charming demeanor is matched with incredible skills and accuracy that he immediately is in awe of. Karen Gaffney (Isla Fisher), on the other hand, is a little less convinced of the couple’s skills and as she does a bit of digging into their perfect life, she soon discovers theres more than meets the eye with the Jones
If it wasn’t so formulaic and its cast didn’t look so wooden, Keeping Up With The Joneses would be a pretty average comedy. It does have some good laughs but all of them are in the trailer. The rest of the film is as bland and emotionless as the Joneses are for the majority of the film. The well worn angle of spy/espionage and comedy has been done so much dating all the way back to the 80s that its become stale and no amount of star power can elevate this, especially one that doesn’t try anything outside the box.
Overall, Keeping Up With The Joneses barely registers as a comedy – its laughs are spread thinly and the majority of the formulaic story is so by-the-numbers it feels like we’ve seen this a thousand times before. The only thing this film should be keeping up with, is the overdone cliche of comedy/spy films.