Our House


Released as Duplex Stateside, Danny DeVito's dark farce tanked at the US box-office despite boasting the combined star wattage of Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore. Perhaps it's not surprising: while Stiller is in his element as the stay-at-home writer tormented to exasperated distraction by a geriatric Irish lodger (Eileen Essel), Drew has to tap into reservoirs of enmity and selfishness entirely alien to her sunny disposition.

DeVito's glee at seeing these smug marrieds brought down a peg is evident. But the film lacks the courage of its director's convictions, going soft and gooey when it should be at its most mean-spirited. Not funny enough to succeed as a black comedy and insufficiently nasty to pass muster as a gross-out romp, this good-looking property is built on shaky foundations.

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