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Our House (also known as Duplex) is a comedy by Danny De Vito which stars Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore.
The film sees writer Alex Rose (Ben Stiller) and his beloved advertising agency employee wife Nancy Kendricks (Drew Barrymore) looking to buy a house but they can't afford an apartment in Manhattan. When the pair find an old duplex apartment in Brooklyn which is perfect for them with only one downside in that there is an old lady living on the second floor (out of three) who they can't shift but as the price is reasonable the paid decide to go for it. When the pair move into their dream home they find the the old lady Mrs. Connelly (Eileen Essel) is a nightmare neighbour who is conniving, manipulative and most of all maddening. Can the couple make their dream home a real dream or will the dream turn into a nightmare?
I absolutely love this movie thanks to the on screen chemistry between Stiller and Barrymore but most importantly the performance of Essell is simply outstanding. It is thanks to her brilliant performance that the movie has such laughs throughout and feels so authentic. The plot is excellent and the acting performances brilliant. I laughed throughout this dark comedy and was not expecting it to be anywhere near as good as it is.
I actually sat down to watch this at the weekend with my partner when it was on BBC1. However, it was on the Sky Guide under the name of Duplex, which is the name of the movie when it was released in the USA. So you will find that the movie is called Duplex in Amazon.com and on the website IMDB.com, but on all English websites, it goes by the name of Our House. Ok, that's the confusing part out of the way!
This film is an hilarious satirrical comedy starring the brilliant pair of actors Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller.I had actually never heard of this film before this weekend, and it was the names below the title in my TV Guide that attracted me to watching it, since I love both of these actors.Ben Stiller is one of the funniest comedy actors I have seen on the big screen, and Drew Barrymore always pulls off the comedienne very well, so I knew that this film would be a huge comedy success.
The plot follows the two characters of Alex and Nancy, a young married couple who have just had a chance to buy a gorgeous apartment in a beautiful complex in New York City. Of course, they jump at the chance, and meet their neighbour, an elderly lady called Mrs Connelly, who seems lovely at first appearances. However, things quickly turn sour between Alex,Nancy and old Mrs Connelly. Alex is a writer who writes from home, but is constantly disturbed by Mrs Connelly calling him upstairs for some reason or another, to the extent where he goes to the local Starbucks to do his writing. Nancy works in advertising and is at first free from the dreaded neighbour until she loses her job.
They then realise to live a quiet and peaceful life, they are giong to have to bump off their elderly resident. However, the frail old woman isn't quite as easy to get rid of as the young couple thought. She seems somewhat indestructible and seems intent on keeping her apartment at any cost, despite annoying the hell out of her young neighbours. Possibly the most annoying part of her is her love of Riverdance at midnight, and wonderfully loud too! She also has the local policeman, Officer Dan, on her side too so Alex and Nancy stand no hope against the two of them.
I think this is one of the funniest comedy films I have seen in a long, long time and that is saying something! I was laughing from start to finish, it was just brilliant! Yes, some of the jokes were a bit predicatable but the acting from the actors, Stiller, Barrymore and the superb Eileen Essel (Mrs Connelly) just made the film even more hilarious. Essel brings a real sweetness to her role that you end up both feeling sorry for her and hating her at the same time! You feel so sorry for Alex and Nancy because of their situation and in a way can see why they are driven to the lengths they go to get rid of their neighbour!
Ben Stiller plays the dead-pan comic role perfectly again and brings the role of Alex to life perfectly, from feeling so angry with Mrs Connelly that he could strangle her, to his conscience getting the better of him so he can't let her struggle alone. And Barrymore is hilarious as the cranky Nancy who is losing her patience with the old dear. But the star is most definitely Eileen Essel who plays the dreaded Irish tenant hilariously, with a comic genius and perfect timing with her lines and acting.
I would thoroughly recommend that you watch this film if you enjoy a good old comedy film which will have you laughing your head off, horrified at the antics of the poor couple and amused at how Mrs Connelly constantly gets away with the tricks the young couple play on her! I loved it, so did my partner, and I hope that you will too! I am surprised I hadn't heard of this film now as it is just brilliant, I loved it!
The film is written by Larry Doyle, and directed by the brilliant Danny DeVito, another superb comic actor which is where it's hilarity comes from I think. The film has a certificate of 12 in the UK because of some of the adult violent scenes (albeit comedy violence). it runs for 89 minutes and is available on Amazon in DVD format for just £3.97, a bargain for a fab film!
Ben Stiller ... Alex Rose
Drew Barrymore ... Nancy Kendricks
Eileen Essell ... Mrs. Connelly
Harvey Fierstein ... Kenneth
Robert Wisdom ... Officer Dan
Thank you for reading!
PLEASE NOTE: This is a FILM ONLY review
When a young couple in search of their dream home finally find the perfect Brooklyn brownstone they are giddy with anticipation. The duplex is a dream come true, complete with multiple fireplaces, except for one thing: Mrs. Connelly (Eileen Essel), the cranky old lady who lives on the rent-controlled top floor. Assuming she is elderly and ill, they take the apartment but their hopes are quickly dashed when they realize that Mrs. Connelly is an energetic senior who enjoys watching her television at top volume day in and day out and rehearsing in a brass band. Danny DeVito directs Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore in this devilish black comedy in which the young couple's rage turns to homicidal fantasy as they plot ways to get rid of their neighbour - for good.