Duplicity Movie Review
Author(s): Robin Roth
Editor: Mark Lewis
Published: March 19, 2009






By: The Blonde and The Brunette


Oscar winner Julia Roberts and Clive Owen reunite (Closer') for 'Duplicity,' from Tony Gilroy writer/director and seven-time Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton.


Americas sweetheart, and Oscar winner Julia Roberts plays CIA officer Claire Stenwick along with Clive Owen who plays MI6 agent Ray Koval. Koval leaves the world of government intelligence to cash in on two rival corporations trying to secure the formula for a product (sorry we don’t want to ruin it for you) that will bring a fortune to the company that obtains the patent first. Part of the suspense comes from the romance between Claire and Ray the two corporate spies. Can they trust each other and or can we the audience trust them? When they find themselves on either side of an all-out corporate war, they discover the toughest part of the job is deciding how much to trust the one you love.


The two Corporate CEO's, (played by British actor and two-time Academy Award-nominated, Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton) as Howard Tully; and American actor and Oscar-nominated,  and Emmy winner Paul Giamatti (Sideways) as Richard Garsik), open the movie with a heated argument which leads them into a slow motion fist fight at the airport by their corporate jets while their staff watches in horror. So begins the corporate war leading to the need to hire corporate spies Ray and Claire to win the battle. Tully is the ultimate corporate CEO with Wall Street magnetism competing to the death with Garsuik the complete opposite, as the media circus, self-centered weasel of a guy.  Both creating corporate steam to knock you off your seat.  

There are many light hearted scenes between Ray and Claire making for some fun relief for the film. If you can follow the twist and turns with multiple flash backs without getting dizzy, you might enjoy this movie.

The Blonde: This film was like The Thomas Crown Affair meets, I Love Trouble meets, Laws of Attraction meets, Match Stick Men. Now you see readers, this is the kind of film that really upsets me and I wish I could use another word than upsets. I waited and waited till Duplicity finally came out, sat there for over 2 hours, and hated the ending. Hating an ending, well what can I say; it ruins the whole film experience for me! I could have come up with 10 better ways to complete this film. In other words, this film “Did not complete me”. To think I wasted an entire bucket of popcorn, Milk-Duds and a large Diet Pepsi on this film. Look, I am not saying it was a bad film. It was done very well, and of course as always Julia and Clive (How cute is he?) brought home stellar performances. I just hated the way they ended it. I left the theater feeling empty, well I was bloated from the snacks but empty emotionally and disappointed.


The Brunette: I really looked forward to viewing this much anticipated film too, but it left me with the question, who is conning who?


The Blonde: Yo, excuse me Brunetterrr; like, what are you accusing me of here?


The Brunette: Hellooooo, this is not about you. Only you can turn a movie comment into a “you comment”. As I was saying, regardless of the disappointing, flat conclusion, I really did enjoy the spy adventure aspect of Duplicity.


The Blonde: Moving along, DO NOT DO drugs of any kind and or alcohol before seeing Duplicity; as the film is difficult at best to follow when you are coherent. If you do have trouble following the film, don’t feel badly for the writer intended it to be that way for the surprise ending.  Not a great surprise I might add…


The Brunette: I agree and how scary is that? To point out the good, the cinematography and locations were quite exciting to watch, especially the opening scenes in Dubai. However, I really didn’t feel any on screen sexy chemistry between Julia and Clive.


The Blonde: Now about Julia and Clive, they are both so great looking aren’t they?  I disagree with the Brunette, for I felt some chemistry between them. I did find the tit for tat aspect to be sexy.  I do feel though, that had I been cast, Clive and I would have had much more sizzle. Without a doubt…


The Brunette: Modesty is one of your best attributes. Gag me!


The Blonde: Wow, excuuuuse me!
Question, when did Julia get such big boobs? Did the twins help that area in any way? Another question, why in films when the woman wakes up early in the morning , does she look picture perfect, makeup and hair flawless and no bad breath? Can I just say, I am totally sure that the Brunette does not wake up looking that way! That’s all I’m sayin'!

So, how do you feel about what’s going on with AIG?


The Brunette: Wait just one minute here Blondie! No one who ever woke up next to me in the morning, ever had a complaint. As far as AIG, don’t get me started… Hold on a minute… Are you one of the bonus recipients?


The Blonde:  Hardy har har, and I only wish! But I know one thing for sure, if I was one of the employees that did get a bonus, I would have returned every penny.


The Brunette: ?????   Like I am so sure! You would already have added a new shelf filled with Manolo Blahnik’s and Jimmy Choo's Shoes in your closet, not to mention a seasonal Louis Vuitton or two….


The Blonde: Well… You got me there, darn………. DARN…

Getting back to film (thank goodness, who would have figured this film could have rescued me in any way), as a side note, the best lines from any movie had to have come from Jerry McGuire. Duplicity had a good one though which was, “I think about you even when you're with me”. Good one, but I do think I would bust up laughing if my man or any man ever said that to me…


The Brunette: Well, I don’t know, I though that was sweet myself… Where is your sense of romance Blonde? I know that “You had me at hello” and “You complete me”! Or not………


The Blonde: Yuk, and may I add another YUK!


The Brunette: LOL! Well, Clive Owen does. Moving right along……

Interestingly enough, the American Heritage Dictionary defines Duplicity as deceitfulness in speech or conduct; speaking or acting in two different ways concerning the same matter with intent to deceive and double dealing.


The Blonde: OK, LIKE, WHO CARES?


The Brunette:  Well I’m just mentioning, that I could not have described this movie better than that. 


The Blonde: But you’re a film critic for Pete’s sakes. Anyway, I am more than jealous that Julia Roberts got to go to Rome (one of my favorite places), and Dubai, stayed in 5 star hotels, enjoyed kissing and being held for hours while shooting with Clive, and not to mention being paid MILLIONS of bucks. How lucky is she. That is even a better deal than the AIG people got.


The Brunette: Gee, I would have been more than happy just being held and kissed by Clive in the back seat of an old heap.


The Blonde: With my Manolo Blahnik’s shoes a Louis Vuitton, me too! DAAA!


The Brunette: Be sure, if you do see Duplicity, to stay to the very end as it will all come together. I rate this film a C-. If you are a true fan of Clive and Julia, you will most likely find some enjoyment in this film.


The Blonde I don’t want to scare anyone away from Duplicity, I just think it could have been a much better film with a better ending. It wasn’t as terrible as the D that I rate it, but after investing over 2 hours of my life watching, I felt I deserved to be happier walking out. I love you Julia and Clive, (Well of course I love Clive more) and just about every movie you guys have ever done, but mmmmm you missed here. For your film snacks, Go ahead with the same bucket of popcorn, Milk-Duds, and Diet Pepsi that I had. You will need it to get through all the confusion and why shouldn’t you be as bloated as I was, LOL. See you at the movies!


UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL: Julia gives her opinions on the paparazzi and kids: "It's so insidious and pointless," she says of the paparazzi's relentless pursuit to capture the excruciating minutiae of stars' lives. "I think that takes away from getting to have this special moment where you go and see someone in a movie. That magic gets diluted because you see these people every hour, every day in something that's bound together and called a publication ... If I could avoid it altogether I would, but I also love my job. And [in] a situation like this where there's a movie I really enjoyed making, I am happy to talk about it. I just think it'd be nice if there were some clearer divisions of what people think is interesting."


Julia gives her opinions on working with other actors:  "I think that idea of safety and trust with a person allows you to be more fun and playful, which a lot of these scenes called for -- just that little bit of sparkle and subtext."