Archive for September, 2009
Hank Moody, the hero of Showtime’s comedy “Californication,” is a roguish struggling novelist who says whatever is on his mind and feels a tug from every member of the opposite sex.
He might get into less trouble if he kept his lip buttoned and his fly zipped. But that wouldn’t be Hank, nor would it be “Californication,” which mines laughs (and, occasionally, gasps) from Hank’s erotic misadventures, and those of his sexed-up fellow travellers.
Starring David Duchovny, “Californication” begins its third season Monday, Sept. 28 on Movie Central and The Movie Network with Hank landing a much-needed teaching job at a local college. This is thanks to a professor who is the sexy mother of a friend of Hank’s teenage daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin).
Here in academia, Hank is primed to seduce his new colleague (whose husband, the dean of the college, is his boss), while a graduate assistant and a sassy coed are also on Hank’s radar.
“I call it adult comedy,” says Duchovny, “but not in the Triple-X sense. It’s adult comedy because the characters are acting foolish but not acting like children. I see most mainstream American comedies with adults acting like children. Hank is childish, but he’s not a child. He’s a man acting childishly.”
When I was updating the video gallery with the clip of David on Jimmy Kimmel, I realized that I forgot to add the clip of David on Conan O’Brien from this past summer. Bad fan! Well, here it is:
A brash satire on all-American consumerism, The Joneses takes a smart idea and develops it into an entertaining, modern morality tale. There is an obvious conclusion that the accumulation of material goods does not guarantee happiness and the preachy ending grows a little soft around the edges. Neither David Duchovny nor Demi Moore have a strong box-office track record in recent years but positive reviews for their performances and the film’s exploitable zeitgeist vibe should provide the elements of a successful theatrical release for this enjoyable, thought-provoking fare.
The Joneses begins as a family of four move into a palatial suburban mansion that appears to have stepped straight from the pages of a Sunday supplement. Mom Kate (Demi Moore) and dad Steve (David Duchovny) ooze wealth, happiness and the dream lifestyle.
Their children Mick (Ben Hollingsworth) and Jen (Amber Heard) are no less perfect but it soon becomes clear that this is all too good to be true. Kate and Steve don’t eat together or sleep together and Jen’s behaviour towards her father is not that of a normal daughter.
TORONTO — A self-satisfied satire about a quartet of salespeople posing as your average affluent American family, “The Joneses” certainly had a workable premise at its disposal.
But in the hands of first-time writer-director Derrick Borte, what could have been a biting black comedy taking product placement to the logical extreme instead is so obviously predictable that even a savvy cast led by David Duchovny and Demi Moore can’t sell it.
Emerging from the Toronto International Film Festival without a domestic-distribution deal, the film can’t help but draw comparisons to “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” another ill-timed comedy about raging consumerism that few found funny given the current economic climate.
From the get-go, there’s something a little too perfect about the Joneses, the attractive, confident brood that recently moved into their fabulously furnished home in a decidedly upscale suburb.
As it turns out, Steve (Duchovny), Kate (Moore) and their teenaged kids, Jenn (Amber Heard) and Mick (Ben Hollingsworth), aren’t a real family at all but a grouping of slick shills assembled by boss Lauren Hutton with the intention of getting the neighbors to lust after their cool stuff.
They would include the highly acquisitive Larry (Gary Cole) and his wife (Glenne Headly), who turn out to be seriously overextended as it is, and you don’t need a sales manual to see where things are headed.
Borte, who comes from the world of commercials, signals every intended plot twist and turn so far in advance, it’s way too easy to keep up with “The Joneses.” One expects a subliminal message of some sort, but it’s all on the surface.
It still works up to a point, largely because of the persuasive qualities of its cast, notably Duchovny’s raffish charm and Moore’s spirited hustle, which in tandem generates a palpable chemistry.
Or maybe that’s just what they wanted you to think.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter