Duplex is a 2003 Comedy Film staring Ben Stiller
and Drew Barrymore
, and Directed by Danny DeVito
It features a young couple who move in to a Duplex in Brooklyn, where an old tenant
is giving them hell.The tenant sends both of the couple 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
, they 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:
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mrs. Connely.
- Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: You start with Officer Dan who you think is just a unnecessarily violent Jerk Ass, but later you find it out it's intentional to scare Alex and Nancy into leaving.
- Cool Old Lady: Mrs. Connelly is an Irish seaman's widow with a parrot and a spear gun.
- Cringe Comedy: Happens often in the first half of the movie, and a bit later as well.
- 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.
- Most Writers Are Writers: Alex is a writer.
- One-Hour Work Week: Averted. Alex tries to work all the time, but he is interrupted by Mrs. Connelly.
- Narrator: Danny DeVito, who also directed the movie, is narrating it.
- Professional Killer: Chick the hitman, who has a legitimate job as a pornographer.
- Spiritual Successor: Often said to be so to Danny De Vito's own Throw Momma from the Train.
- 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.