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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 16 January 2006
I'm not a great Ben Stiller fan but this wasn't bad.
He & Drew Baryymore buy a house with a sitting tenant upstairs, a little old lady (who in 1 scene tells them how long she was married & how long ago her husband died, which leaves you adding the years up along with the on screen characters, which amussed me). Ben Stiller is a writter desperately trying to finish his novel on a dead line but with little daily chores & distractions from Mrs Connely upstairs! Soon both are driven mad by the constant noise etc, they go to extreme measures to try to vacate their upstairs tenant to build a nursery.
I found this funny at the start but about 3 quarters of the way through it just started getting silly, I beleive that my partner mentioned the phrase "Home Alone slap stick". If you're into the old falling down the stairs gag then this will be a good film to watch, but if you, like me are mainly after witty remarks & thoughtful side line jokes then maybe keep it on the side for a rainy day film.
Other than that it is very funny in places & if the write up interests you then it's worth a watch.
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on 23 January 2005
I would definitley reccomend this to people beacuse it's a great film! Basically the couple buy a new house, but there's a catch, a 'sweet little old lady' lives upstairs... I'll not give it away but lets say they do everything in their power to try and get rid of her! Buy this! It's a great film and you'll be laughing all the way through!
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on 6 January 2007
Firstly, if you are a fan of Ben and Drew, i reccomend you to buy this movie! It is great/hilarious, these characters work greatly together in the movie, aswell as the old tennant in the duplex they move into. About a young couple that move into a new home in New York, to start a new life in a cosy place. But what comes once they have settled in, was not expected. An annoying tennant is living on a floor just above them, they are very stressed from doing many things for her, running around for her all the time. This just gets too far, they can no longer cope with the noise and being bothered just too much. So they try their best to drive her out of the place and go and live somewhere else. Has some laughs inbetween, absolutely brilliant!.
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on 23 February 2011
Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore are a young(ish) couple looking to buy their first home and start a family. They find an ideal 'duplex', located in Brooklyn and within their price range, the only issue being a sitting tenant - a very old lady - inhabiting the upstairs floor. She seems kindly and sweet at first, but is cantankerous and vindictive at heart and does everything she can to make their lives hell.

If you found Meet The Parents frustrating and painful rather than amusing then I'd recommend you avoid this darker film of a similar ilk. However, if you liked Stiller in that - or are a fan of comedy derived from people being driven to insanity by unfortunate circumstance and canny antagonists (think Home Alone, but with Joe Pesci as the protagonist) - then this is a thoroughly entertaining film.
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This is a comedy about a young couple who decides to buy a duplex just outside New York City. They have an irritating old woman living upstairs in a rent controlled apartment that they own as part of the property. He's a writer, struggling to finish his second novel. She's the supportive wife going off to work at a magazine in NY. The little old woman is a very old widow.

During the course of the movie, the old woman continuously disturbs their sleep, destroys the writer's ability to finish his work, and generally disrupts the peace and tranquility they mistakenly thought they would attain with the purchase of the house.

What follows is a myriad of very entertaining, slapstick comedy and a murder plot. This movie is funny, but somehow just misses the mark. So much more could have been done with the plot and parts of the story just fall flat. Though this is an entertaining movie I recommend that you rent, don't buy. You'll watch it once and live happily without watching it ever again. It is most definitely not a keeper.
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2005
Nancy Kendrick's and Alex Rose are a wonderful young couple; they both have good jobs, one a published author and one an essential editor of a top magazine. At the moment they have to live in an apartment the size of a small baby though, so naturally they are looking for an apartment. Unfortunately for them all the accommodation in their budget are either in rough, scary area's or are too small for words. That is until they find an amazingly spacious and beautiful duplex which is just in their price range. The estate agent shows them around, and they both fall in love. Upstairs they have a darling old, ill lady who pays a small amount of rent to stay in the apartment. What could ever go wrong?....
After buying the house, they move in, adding their own personal touches to the place. When the couple go upstairs to give their tenant a gift, they discover that she is surprisingly spry, running about, doing the river dance and taking part in a brass band. Will this women try her hardest to make Nancy and Alex's lives hell, and make them move out?
Could this at first hysterical situation, go as far as murder? You will have to rent or buy Our House and see!
Drew Barrymore has to be one of my all time favorite actresses. I think that she can do anything she wants to, and I believe that her talent can span from heart breaking emotional scenes to side splitting performances. In Our House (Duplex) Drew plays Nancy Kendricks, it is a performance that is very funny and interestingly layered, instead of just playing the character completely straight, she strives to add a lot of different dimensions and aspects to her role. This defiantly enters on her comedic range of acting and it is really good, it is like she doesn't have to put any effort into being this great, she has been in the business for a very long time and knows exactly what she is doing. Not one of her best performances, but still pretty good.
Ben Stiller is really not one of my favorite actors, I am not a fan of slapstick humor and that Dodgeball was one of the worst movies I have ever seen, but credit where it is due he does bounce off all the cast very well and is very funny. I didn't find him as breathlessly natural on screen as Barrymore, but he did at least try and work with his role, and managed to show, suitable hilarity at the whole situation and is on a constant height of deliria. Again not an astounding performance, but it is quite a lot of fun and provides plenty of laughs for everyone.
By far the best performance comes from Eileen Essel as the evil Mrs. Connelly. It is one of the funniest performances I have ever seen. It is genius because she manages to make you, empathize, but hate her at the same time. I thought it was amazing, funny, genius and completely accurate, as I know a fair few people who act just like that. One of the evilest characters in cinema, kind of becomes loveable.
I have to say that I really, really enjoyed Our House. I thought it was dark, clever and hysterical. I don't think that I stopped laughing all the way through. There is something very masterful about the way it is constructive and there are a lot of lasting images in this.
Danny Devito has quite an impressive and varied backlog of directorial work. Things like Death To Smoochy and Throw Momma From A Train. All of his work are dark comedies and I think they are all very good. He has a real good touch for making movies of this genre, this movie has a wonderful quirkiness to it and is like I said before masterfully set out and really well thought about.
This isn't a new concept, or a particularly inventive one so the script writers had to make it really over the top to get a reaction, which is what they succeeded in doing. They just thought of every wacky and stupid thing they could possibly fit into one script and hoped it would work which it did. It did because they didn't forget to build all the characters up, there is a huge amount of character development throughout the whole thing and the story has good foundation because the scene is set very early on, so all the wackiness can take place after. It really is a very funny script, with good, solid characters and a great story.
As production Values go Our House is pretty good, the house is really beautiful and the camera work, is little less than perfect. All the set pieces are very well planned out and all the elaborate gags are produced well. Also at the very beginning we have an animated introduction, which is very funny and really well made. This serves as a introduction to the madness straight away.
One of the biggest problems with Our House, though was that it is based on one idea and one idea alone, even though they take it through different routes, it does become a tad bit boring because it seems, like it is just going to be good physical comedy. When you have a whole movie just on one core idea, it can become slightly predictable.
Our House does also have some slight pacing problems, but nothing too bad.
Overall I really enjoyed Our House and thought it was immensely entertaining. Brilliant acting, great direction and some well planned physical comedy made it a great little flick. Sadly, it does try and base a whole film on a central idea and has very slight pacing problems.
Are There Any Special Effects On The DVD? Yes but nothing very special to talk about. There are three deleted scenes, one awful and a commentary/behind the scene's documentary.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 December 2012
Our House is the US title it seems, as it's known to me on UK screens with the name, Duplex. Directed by acting legend Danny DeVito (Taxi) this is an off the beaten track black comedy, that imo is sorely underrated or misjudged.

Alex Rose (Ben Stiller -Zoolander) is a struggling writer whose under pressure by his publisher to finish his latest book. Along with his partner, journalist, Nancy Kendricks (Drew Barrymore -Charlie's Angels) they decide they're Manhattan apartment is too small for they're needs & so they find a quaint & much larger home in Brooklyn. The downside is that it is a duplex, and there is an elderly tenant who lives upstairs, Mrs. Connelly (Eileen Essell). Led to believe by the real estate agent that she is on her last legs, they take the house, but as it turns out, Mrs. Connelly isn't quite the frail old Irish lady they think she is. And as she grinds them to despair with requests of home improvements & help with her errands etc.. this nice couple begin to contemplate committing the ultimate evil act, as they reach the end of they're tether.

As we start out following these two young lovebirds with successful carer's, it gradually turns into something much darker, with a combination of subtle humor & big visual silly comedy scenes. The characters are so well written & acted, in such a way, that you can't help but sympathise with the viewpoints of all concerned. Stiller & Barrymore have a great rapport & obvious gift for comedy, but, it's Eileen Essell that pulls the rug form under them & steals the show as the eccentric dotty old lady who very much still has her wits about her. The support cast isn't too shabby either, with, Harvey Fierstein (Mrs Doubtfire), James Remar (Dexter) , Justin Theroux (Your Highness), Robert Wisdom (The Wire) , Swoosie Kurtz (Liar Liar) , Maya Rudolph (Briedsmaids) & Wallace Shawn (Toy Story).

In conclusion, Duplex is a funny, yet in some places, frustrating comedy, that has more smarts than most would care to give it. Recommended.
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on 15 June 2010
I decided to watch this film as I like Ben Stiller films and wanted a new comedy to watch, after reading the reviews on Amazon I was unsure what to expect as they were very mixed. It starts of a bit slow at first but is really funny. It's about a couple that buy a new home and have to put up with an annoying old lady living upstairs. If you want to watch a good comedy give this a go you will not be disappointed.
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on 19 May 2009
I found this film an ok watch. Its about a couple who buy a house with a sitting tenant (an old lady), she causes them lots of hassle and drives them crazy until they sell up. The old lady is working with her son the estate agent to get couples to buy the house then scare them off to get the commission. Its a bit funny but not great.
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Our House (or Duplex as it's known in the states) is a strange but amusing film with a strange tone. Directed by Danny Devito it's kind of similar in ways to a couple of his previous efforts - Throw Momma from the Train and War of the Roses, whilst not being as good as either of those.

Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore play a young couple moving into a new place in New York. The seemingly sweet old lady who lives upstairs soon starts giving them all kinds of trouble and their patience wears pretty thin pretty quickly. The battle of wits that then ensues between the neighbours is at times rather funny and at times kind of dark. Stiller is on his usual angry man form and Barrymore is cutely sweet (at least in the beginning).

It's not one of the best films either have ever made but I thought there were enough giggles to make it worth a watch.
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