I don’t typically expect much from Ben Stiller
comedies. His characters are flat and he doesn’t have enough depth as
an actor. His movies fade together. With each film comes the same
facial expressions, the same tedious, “I’m with stupid,” look, the same
blinking eyes and bland comic deliveries. Drew Barrymore,
on the other hand, seems to mold herself to the role. Each movie brings
with it a totally different look, a totally different feeling. Mixing
the two was a mistake.
I was almost shocked when I remembered that Duplex was directed by Danny Devito. Duplex should have been called, Meet the Parents 2, The neighbor. Even though Duplex was directed by the comedic mastermind, Danny DeVito,
the movie carried the same humor and same dry humor we found in Meet
the Parents. The story line is even just as unbelievable: A young
couple, find marital bliss in their new duplex. Everything is perfect
as they move in, the neighborhood, the sweet aging upstairs neighbor,
everything! Their dream quickly boils red as the nightmare comes to
life. The sweet old neighbor becomes a demon, and she destroys their
The problem is that I’ve seen this movie before. It was directed by
somebody else, and it had slightly different actors, but I’ve seen it
over and over again, and it is boring. Devito should have known this.
He’s done it before, too. The War of the Roses
is a jewel of a movie and it has the same basic premise: Two people
hate each other, and as the movie unfolds, they resort to everything,
including murder, to rid the house of the other person. Too bad we
didn’t get a resurrection of Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in Duplex. Now that would have been a good movie.
As produced, Duplex had only slight comedic value. Very little of Ben
Stiller’s performance was memorable, and in fact, I’m having a
difficult time trying to distinguish his other roles from this one. I
am continually reminding myself that Duplex didn’t have a pool
volleyball scene, or a cat for that matter. Shame on you Mr. DeVito.
I’ll maintain the faith that you’ll do better next time.