Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Danny DeVito|
|Produced by||Drew Barrymore
|Written by||Larry Doyle|
|Narrated by||Danny DeVito|
|Music by||David Newman|
|Edited by||Greg Hayden
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
The film was called Our House for its release in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Alex Rose and Nancy Kendricks are a young, professional, New York couple in search of their dream home. When they finally find the perfect Brooklyn brownstone they are giddy with anticipation. The duplex is a dream come true, complete with multiple fireplaces, except for one thing: Mrs. Connelly, the old lady who lives on the rent-controlled top floor. Assuming she is elderly and ill, they take the apartment.
However, they soon realize that Mrs. Connelly is in fact an energetic senior who enjoys watching her television at top volume day and night and rehearsing in a brass band. As a writer, Alex is attempting to finish his novel against a looming deadline. However, he is interrupted daily by Mrs. Connelly's numerous demands and requests, and what begins as a nuisance quickly escalates into an all-out war.
When Nancy loses her job and the pair are trapped at home together with Mrs. Connelly, their rage turns to homicidal fantasy as they plot ways to get rid of their no-good neighbor - finally deciding to hire a hitman, Chick, to kill her. However, his asking price for doing the hit is $25,000. Unable to initially come up with the money, Alex approaches his friend and fellow writer, Coop, to ask for a loan, but is rebuffed. Desperate and needing the money in two days, they sell almost every possession they own to pay Chick who will do the hit on Christmas Eve. Chick fails to kill Mrs. Connelly when she defends herself with her speargun by shooting him in the shoulder, and the couple in fact have to rescue the old woman when the struggle results in a fire in her apartment.
Accepting defeat, Alex and Nancy decide to evict themselves, but find out that the old woman has died right when they leave. After Alex and Nancy, now with no jobs, friends, or money left, move from New York they contemplate their strange encounters. But here the audience learns that the realtor of the duplex (revealed to be Mrs. Connelly's son) and the ill-tempered police officer who had frequently harassed and distrusted the couple (her son's lover), and the woman (who is not in fact dead) have been doing this to others. The unethical trio have been using an illegal scam for years by harassing young good-natured couples that move into the ground floor duplex, forcing them to move out, and then faking Mrs. Connelly's own death so they can collect a commission from the next occupants. Alex and Nancy were Mrs. Connelly and her son's latest victims among so many.
At the conclusion, it is revealed that Alex (unaware about the scam) used his experience as inspiration for his next book, which became a best-seller, thus giving the film a semi-happy ending.
- Ben Stiller as Alex Rose
- Drew Barrymore as Nancy Kendricks
- Eileen Essell as Mrs. Connelly
- Harvey Fierstein as Kenneth
- Justin Theroux as Coop
- James Remar as Chick
- Robert Wisdom as Officer Dan
- Swoosie Kurtz as Jean
- Wallace Shawn as Herman
- Maya Rudolph as Tara
- Amber Valletta as Celine
- Michelle Krusiec as Dr. Kang
- Tracey Walter as Pharmacy Customer
- Danny DeVito as Narrator (voice)
The film opened to negative reviews, with many feeling this was not DeVito's best. The film has a 50 on Metacritic, and a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Barrymore earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actress for her performance in the film (also for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle), but lost to Jennifer Lopez for Gigli.
On a US $40 million budget, it only grossed US $9,692,135 in the US and the equivalent of $US 19,322,135 worldwide.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Duplex (film)|
- Official website
- Duplex at the Internet Movie Database
- Duplex at AllMovie
- Duplex at Box Office Mojo
- Duplex at Rotten Tomatoes
- Duplex at Metacritic