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Duplicity (2009)

Film review: Duplicity (2009), directed by Tony Gilroy

duplicityRomantic comedy where two spies, Claire (Julia Roberts) and Ray (Clive Owen), are spying on each other and then end up doing corporate spying together and there are lots and lots of twists and turns and no one can trust anyone, trying to get company secrets and not get screwed over at the same time.

Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti star as the two rival company bosses.

I’m pretty sure I remember seeing a trailer for this film back in the day, and thought it looked pretty good. When I spotted it would be on TV recently, I decided to watch it, because it sounded good. A romantic spy comedy, brilliant. Except it isn’t, really. Brilliant, that is. Or romantic. Or a comedy, for that matter.

It starts a few years ago, with Claire screwing Ray over (literally, heh) to get some classified documents. Some years later, they meet again and as it turns out, they’re meant to be working together. More shagging ensues, and their fling later might be something that jeopardises the major con they’re trying to carry out.

My question is, who gives a toss?

It wasn’t really funny, it wasn’t really engaging, the timings had me confused at first and in the end, I just thought “meh”. When it’s just turns here, there and everywhere, it might become interesting, or it might become confusing, and when Julia Roberts has one, stony expression (Botox, anyone?) throughout … well, I stop paying attention after a while.

So, she lies, he lies, they lie to each other, they lie to other people and other people lie to them, yadda yadda, and eventually the film ends. When it did, my first thought was “finally!” rather than “I liked that”, and that’s never a very good sign. I also went “hah!” at the way it ended, because at least there was some sense of them getting what they deserved.

Saying that, Clive Owen was good, Giamatti a bit too over the top, and I’m starting to feel as if I’m stalking Wilkinson now, because HOW many films have I seen in the past few months with him in?! And they’ve been accidental as well (“oh look, it’s him again”), unlike the number of Luke Goss and Colin Firth films I’ve racked up in the same time (“oh, he’s in it! I have to watch it!”), which have both been entirely deliberate.

So nah, I never got a good feel for this film, and found myself quite bored. Sadly. The squirrels in my back garden amuse me more.

2 out of 5 faked passports.

Traxy Thornfield

A Swedish introvert residing in Robin Hood Country (Nottingham, UK) with a husband and two cats. She's an eager participant in tabletop and play-by-post roleplaying, woodworking, photography and European travel. Will get a novel out one of these days, if she doesn't get too distracted along the way.

2 thoughts on “Duplicity (2009)

  1. We went to see this in the movie theatre, and I really didn’t care for it. Like you said, I didn’t really care about the characters or story and thought it was confusing just for confusing’s sake.

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