Sunday, April 26, 2009


For those who complained about the convoluted plot of this spy vs. spy caper, I can only attribute your inability to focus on years of MTV videos, predictable reality TV and too many YouTube Turtle Boy clips.

Pay attention people--it's not that complicated!

The double-crossing and triple-crossing are just fun filler to highlight the inherent problem in relationships: men and women don't trust each other. Not really.

The games, the tests, the verbal sparring is all in service of that bittersweet reality. But writer/director chooses not to get too caught up in the philosophical issues of male/female interactions but instead gives us a thrilling romp of a story about two former spies engaged in corporate espionage.

Gilroy obviously takes cues from the late 60s as Duplicity evokes films like The Thomas Crown Affair and even Bedtime Story stylistically and plot-wise. I could have done without the montage inserts--I find them intrusive and pretentious. But the interplay between Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) and Roy Koval (Clive Owen) was filled with sparks and wit. And Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti as rival CEOs only add to the film's finesse.

My only gripe with the movie was with whomever was responsible for Roberts' ghastly wardrobe. Although unconventionally beautifully, Roberts still has all the sparkle and charisma of her Pretty Woman days--even more so at the worldly-wise age of 41. Rather than enhance her looks, her wardrobe often made her look--ordinary.

Clive Owen, on the other hand, could wear Dockers and a sweatshirt and still look hot.


  1. I didn't dislike the movie, I just never really bought their relationship. I think in the end it was miscast. The two actors were great but they had no chemistry. At least that's what I thought. Like I said in my blog, I LOVED the opening scene.

  2. See--I bought the relationship. Then again, I'm inclined to think Clive has chemistry with ANYBODY.

    There were some holes, but all in all it was such a smart movie (in comparison to most of the crap out there), I could forgive them.