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||"Behind the Scenes".
Drew Barrymore, Harvey Fierstein, Justin Theroux, Eileen Essell,
James Remar, Swoosie Kurtz, Wallace Shawn
Ben Stiller, Larry Doyleand Stuart Cornfield
|| Danny Devito
Alex Rose and Nancy Kendricks believe
they've found the home of their dreams. It turns out that
they've entered a surreal comedic nightmare more vivid than
a Dali painting. It seems the petty, slightly demented upstairs
neighbor (Eileen Essell) is the Devil in disguise as a little
old lady. Her demands and annoying behavior lead this happy-go-lucky
couple to consider helping Mrs. Connelly vacate the premises
and the planet permanently. ***
Everyone has had a neighbor from
hell. Which makes "Duplex" a bit more universal than most
comedies of this sort. Callling this a comedy stretches the
imagination as Larry Doyle's screenplay continually misses
the mark. I'm surprised given that director Danny Devito was
at the helm of the film but with co-stars and co-producers
Stiller and Barrymore "fixing" the film with last minute re-shoots
and re-editing, "Duplex" was compromised from the start. Stiller
does a variation on the characters he's played in "There's
Something About Mary" and "Meet The Parents" and, sadly, his
manic energy and comic inventiveness can't overcome the end
result. Barrymore gives a sweet comic performance that, again,
revitalizes some of the scenes she plays with Stiller. It's
just not enough. The film has its moments and wouldn't be
a bad rental on a rainy afternoon when you're sick in bed.
You can even nod off between scenes and not miss much. The
best scenes were, honestly, in the trailer.
but that doesn't make up for the lack of satisfaction that viewers
will feel after having wasted two hours of their life. There
are some edge enhancement issues but overall the film looks
solid. The sound has an annoying, grating, shrill scream throughout
it's two hours that makes it impossible to hear the dialogue.
Just kidding, actually that would have been a relief during
some of the scenes of the film. ---
||Just a standard
"Behind the Scenes" featurette and deleted scenes. Clearly no
one wanted to put much more effort into this misfired comedy.
Clearly no one wanted to own up to being involved in this film.
In reality, it's pretty clear no one associated with the production
wanted to waste two hours of their life watching it again. Perhaps
UCLA film professor Howard Suber could give a lecture about
why this is a bad comedy. It would certainly be more interesting
than watching the film with the sound on.
|| If it was
a rainy afternoon, my car was broken down and I was sick in
bed I might consider watching this on HBO or Network television.
With the sound off and very loud music. Or while reading a book.
You certainly wouldn't miss much. Watch the trailer and you've
seen the best parts of the movie. You'll thank me for saving
you two hours of your life. Trust me on this.