Imagine a life worthy of a seductive Marks & Spencer style voiceover and you’ve got the Joneses – an alpha family whose impossibly perfect existence is just that.
Sexy dad David Duchovny and hot mom Demi Moore are actually singletons employed by cynical marketeers to become Steve and Kate Jones, who, along with their poster-pretty pretend kids, are planted in a wealthy neighbourhood.
The undercover sales team parades their new must-have products among their salivating neighbours and successfully raises the bar of the American dream.
But being the perfect family isn’t as easy as it looks. Manipulative mock daughter Jenn (Heard) is great at inspiring consumerism but suffers from an unmarketable penchant for older men, while troubled buff pseudo son Mick (Hollingsworth) fosters an increasingly cover-blowing rebellious streak.
Steve’s enthusiasm wanes as he begins to realise there’s more to life than expensive toys and despite their obvious attraction, business-like Kate re-buffs his advances.
Cue chief marketing executive KC (legendary sex symbol Lauren Hutton), who is despatched to reinforce the mantra: “If people want you, they want what you’ve got.” Deep.
A head-over-heels Steve ups his game to win the admiration of his mercenary missus, but faces a battle with his conscience when gullible sex-starved neighbour Larry, (Gary Cole), falls into debt after taking his advice to invest in “a steady stream of gifts” for his distracted wife.
Moore and Duchovny’s on-screen connection is sizzling and both stars excel in unravelling their hard-bitten characters’ fragility. Cole pitches a weighty and watchable performance, while Heard and Hollingsworth are confident in their supporting roles.
The Joneses confronts society’s obsession with style over substance but this is not just any morality tale, this is first-time director Derrick Borte’s slick, satisfying and unsanctimonious modern morality tale.