Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore star in a Danny DeVito-directed comedy that rapidly runs out of room to grow
Starring: Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore, Eileen Essel
Plot Summary: Young Manhattanites Alex (Stiller) and Nancy (Barrymore) need more space to start a family and decide to move to Brooklyn.
They find an apparently ideal property - the duplex of the title - but there's a catch: They're forced to share the building with an old woman, Mrs. Connelly (Essel), whose passive-aggressive behavior eventually drives the couple to contemplate murder…
Review: There's nothing wrong with one-joke movies, especially if that joke's a funny one.
Duplex though stretches its gag too fast and too thin and it eventually reaches breaking point.
That's a shame because the opening promises far better, setting up a solid premise, delivering a lot of laughs and introducing a cast of talented comic actors.
No film with Ben Stiller is all bad and he plays the role of a put-upon writer with typically world-weary flair. Drew Barrymore plays Stiller's perky-to-the-point-of-irritating graphic-designer wife to perfection, and Essel is brilliant as the detestable Mrs. Connelly.
Despite the New York setting, there's also a lot about Duplex that Prague audiences could relate to.
Anyone who's lived in a panelák will be overly familiar with the space and noise issues that Duplex exploits, and though the Mrs. Connelly character may be a Hollywood-style Oirish-American she's a not-too-distant relative of a fair number of this city's babičkas.
The presence of Danny DeVito, one of the few mainstream Hollywood directors comfortable with black comedy, also bodes well.
Ultimately though, DeVito gets it wrong, attacking the script at a frantic pace when a more steady, subtle approach might've paid off.
PTV Rating: 2 out of 5
Czech Premiere: Thu 6th May, 2004
Czech Title: Baba na zabití ("Granny for the Chop")
Runtime: 1 hour, 37 minutes
Number of Prints in Czech Cinemas: 15
- Beg to differ? Have your say in the PTV Discussion Forum
Video on YouTube
KineDok coming to MeetFactory by Institute of Documentary Film
Documentary series starts with the Latvian film My Father the Banker
Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The true story of a disaster on an oil rig is turned into an old-school disaster film
Movie Review: Café Society by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Woody Allen returns to Hollywood's Golden Era for a look at the glamorous set on both coasts
Movie Review: Bridget Jones's Baby by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Renée Zellweger is finally back after a long absence from the screen
Interview: Ted Otis on working with Jan Němec by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Expat actor had a small but crucial role in The Wolf of Royal Vineyard Street
Movie Review: The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Vlk z Královských Vinohrad FB)
Famous Czech director has a last hurrah with a semi-autobiographical film
Czech Trekkies celebrate 50th anniversary of Star Trek by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: startrek.com)
Events include a visit from a Deep Space Nine crew member, a trip to a set and a costume party
Movie Review: Nerve by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Techno thriller sends people on risky dares, but doesn't fulfill its own basic challenges
Movie Review: Sully by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The 'Miracle on the Hudson' comes to the big screen courtesy of Clint Eastwood
ASEAN festival shows films for free by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Five recent movies from Southeast Asia cover a spectrum of genres
Kids Indoor Playground in Prague 5, OC Zlicin
Prague City Tours in 23 languages!
... the real luxury is actually waiting for you on your...
Uncover the unique story behind the Staropramen brewery in...
Mortgage Loans and Consultancy
Find other singles quickly and face to face
Finance & Real Estate
Premium craft brewery in Prague 4