Duplex Information

Duplex is a 2003 American black comedy film directed by Danny DeVito, and starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore.

The film was called Our House for its release in the United Kingdom and Ireland.


Alex Rose and Nancy Kendricks are a young, professional, New York couple in search of their dream home. When they 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, the old lady who lives on the rent-controlled top floor. Assuming she is elderly and ill, they take the apartment.

However, they soon realize that Mrs. Connelly is in fact an energetic senior who enjoys watching her television at top volume day in and day out and rehearsing in a brass band. As a writer, Alex is attempting to finish his novel against a looming deadline. However, he is interrupted daily by Mrs. Connelly's numerous demands and requests, and what begins as a nuisance quickly escalates into an all-out war.

When Nancy loses her job and the pair are trapped at home together with Mrs. Connelly, their rage turns to homicidal fantasy as they plot ways to get rid of their no-good neighbor - finally deciding to hire a hitman, Chick, to kill her. However, his asking price for doing the hit is $25,000. Unable to initially come up with the money, Alex approaches Coop to ask for a loan, but is rebuffed. Desperate and needing the money in two days, they sell almost every possession they own to pay Chick who will do the hit on Christmas Eve. Chick fails to kill Mrs. Connelly when she defends herself with her speargun by shooting him in the shoulder.

Alex and Nancy decide to evict themselves, but find out that the old woman has died right when they leave. While they contemplate their strange encounters, the audience learns that the landlord of the duplex (revealed to be Mrs. Connelly's son) and the officer who had distrusted the couple (her son's lover), and the woman (who is not in fact dead) does this all the time, harassing young couples and then faking her own death and collecting a commission from the next occupants. At the conclusion, it is revealed that Alex used the experience as inspiration for his next book, which became a best-seller.



The film received mixed reviews. The film has a 50 on Metacritic, and a 36% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes. Barrymore earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actress for her performance in the film.

It made, on a US $40 million budget, $US 9,692,135 in the US and the equivalent of $US 19,322,135 worldwide.

See also

  • The Money Pit

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