Monday, November 14, 2011

Keeping Up with the Joneses

Posted by Teresa at 10:38 AM
I want to write about a very powerful movie I viewed this
weekend. It came out last year but I barely got the
opportunity to see it over the weekend. The movie is
titled "The Joneses." Here's the trailer:

Don't let the trailer fool you. It's not a light, campy movie about
a fake family. In fact, I think has a powerful critic on American
consumerism. And with the economy in shambles I believe it
is a message that needs to be told.

I will give you a quick synopsis. (Warning: Plot spoilers.) The
Joneses are undercover marketers pretending to be a family
so they can sell products to a rich, suburban neighborhood.
And they become quite successful in their marketing. Soon
their neighbors and local businesses are buying what they got.
Each character is hiding something behind the facade of
being the perfect well-to-do family. Kate (the mother, played
by Demi Moore) is an ambitious businesswoman but has
trouble maintaining a serious relationship. Steve (the father,
played by David Duchovny) is a lonely middle-aged man
who wants to marry and have a REAL family. Jenn (the
daughter, played by Amber Heard) is a nymphomaniac.
Mick (the son, played by Ben Hollingsworth) is hiding that
he's homosexual.

Their lies and and hyper-consumerism finally rears its'
ugly head. One of Mick's friend's gets into a car accident
after drinking wine coolers that the Joneses were marketing
to teens. But the ugliest part was when Steve finds his
neighbor and close friend, Larry, dead after committing
suicide. The reason why he committed suicide? He was
about to lose his house because he over-extended his credit.
All Larry's wife cared about was having nice things. The
pressure of keeping up with the Joneses was too much
for him and he killed himself.

The movie is a powerful social critic. While everyone is
discussing the causes of this disastrous economy, I rarely
hear hyper-consumerism enter the discussion. The
recession began with the housing bubble bursting. People
were basically buying homes they couldn't afford.

As a Christian, I simply call this greed. I would like to
hear the American Church to speak more about the
immorality of hyper-consumerism, which is just
greed by another name. It is soul-crushing.

Materialism is rampant in our society and the Church
must be in the forefront in confronting it. Materialism
reduces people to just what they acquire and not
who they are as human beings. God sees our heart
and soul, not our things. You can't take your things
with you once you pass away.
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