Duplex [2003]

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore, Eileen Essell, Harvey Fierstein, Justin Theroux
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 89 minutes

Anyone who's lived in an apartment will understand the mounting frustration of Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore as they grapple with the upstairs neighbor of their worst nightmares in Duplex, directed by Danny DeVito. Stiller and Barrymore play a young couple who think they've found the home of their dreams when they buy an astonishingly spacious Brooklyn duplex. Unfortunately, the second floor comes with a tenant, a seemingly sweet little old lady (Eileen Essell). Her petty demands and manipulative ways drive Stiller and Barrymore to desperate attempts to oust her--and when she breezily resists their worst efforts, the hapless pair begin to consider more serious (and final) measures. Duplex might be called a comedy of anxiety; it constantly pricks at your expectations of disaster, sending you into a nervous state that demands laughter as a release. Also featuring Wallace Shawn, Harvey Fierstein, and Swoosie Kurtz. --Bret Fetzer

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