Duplex (film)

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For the 2015 film, see The Duplex (film).
Duplex film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Danny DeVito
Produced by Drew Barrymore
Stuart Cornfeld
Larry Doyle
Nancy Juvonen
Jeremy Kramer
Ben Stiller
Written by Larry Doyle
Starring Ben Stiller
Drew Barrymore
Eileen Essell
Narrated by Danny DeVito
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Anastas Michos
Edited by Greg Hayden
Lynzee Klingman
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • September 26, 2003 (2003-09-26)
Running time
89 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Box office $19,322,135

Duplex is a 2003 American comedy film directed by Danny DeVito, and starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore.

The film was called Our House for its release in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[1]


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.



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.[2][3] Barrymore earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actress for her performances in both Duplex and 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.[4]


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