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neumu
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Duplex cinematronic
  director

Danny DeVito

cast

Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore, Eileen Essel, Justin Theroux, Harvey Fierstein, Swoosie Kurtz, Wallace Shawn, James Remar, Maya Rudolph, Robert Wisdom, Amber Valletta

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  They trotted out the reliable old "Neighbor-From-Hell" plot device for the desired comedy hijinks; they tossed in the "Nice-Young-Couple-Done-In-By-Their-Collapsing-New-Home" premise to ensure the hilarity; and "Duplex" still crumbles before it's fully constructed. The film's director, Danny DeVito ("The War of the Roses"), and its stars, Ben Stiller ("Meet the Parents") and Drew Barrymore ("The Wedding Singer"), are no strangers to the idea of excruciatingly funny. But "Duplex" is more excruciating than funny. New York novelist Alex (Stiller) and his wife Nancy (Barrymore) want a place of their own, so they purchase a reasonably priced duplex in Brooklyn. There's one downside: They're stuck with an elderly upstairs tenant who can't be evicted because of rent control laws. Demented widow Mrs. Connelly (game, grotesque Eileen Essell) makes life miserable for Alex and Nancy, eventually bringing about the ruin of the couple's dream home. Bits of sharp dialogue aside, the script — with its facile old-age-related humor, saw-it-comin'-for-miles slapstick and what-were-they-thinking moves by the victimized couple — only nails a few fitful laughs. And the wrap-up is gratuitous and illogical.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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