Film / Duplex

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

It features a young couple, Alex (Stiller) and Nancy (Barrymore), who move into a brownstone duplex in Brooklyn, where an elderly tenant named Mrs. Connelly (Eileen Essell) starts giving them hell. She sends both of them on a myriad of errands, keeps them up all night (every night), gets them fired from their jobs, and lowers the value of the property with each passing day.

Since they can't get rid of the sweet old lady because of rent control, Alex and Nancy try to coerce her out of the apartment, eventually turning to less friendly methods... and getting clumsier and clumsier the more they escalate.

This film provides examples of:

  • Cool Old Lady: Mrs. Connelly is an Irish seaman's widow with a parrot and a spear gun.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: The main character is trying and failing to write a book throughout the movie, mostly due to his upstairs tenant. The end of the movie shows his published novel, also titled Duplex, presumably about the events he experienced during the movie.
  • Market-Based Title: The UK title is "Our House".
  • One-Word Title: In combination with The Place, one of its known titles is Duplex, about the duplex the characters live in.
  • The Place: In combination with One-Word Title, one of its known titles is Duplex, about the duplex the characters live in, and the UK title is Our House, which is an example of this trope.
  • The Reveal: Mrs. Connelly is discovered to be both alive and in fact she is the mother of Kenneth, the Duplex real estate agent, and in fact it's a Real Estate Scam to make them sell the house cheaper then they bought it.