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In 1965 a French lawyer agreed to pay the rent on a beautiful apartment then occupied by a woman aged 90; the deal was that he'd inherit her home. She went on to become the world's oldest woman and died aged 122 - a year after the lawyer's own death. Seeing some mileage in this true story, Larry Doyle has written a rom-com about a young couple who buy a duplex with a little old lady living upstairs. Novelist Alex (Stiller) and his magazine editor wife Nancy (Barrymore) hadn't figured on Mrs Connelly (Essel), a demanding, 'deaf when it suits' member of a brass ensemble. She'll surely drive them crazy - unless, of course she meets with an unfortunate accident. The material is capably handled by director DeVito and lifted by Stiller, a dab hand at physical comedy who also exhibits some onscreen chemistry with Barrymore. Essel's sweet'n'sour old dear is well pitched and would not have been out of place in an Ealing comedy. The story flags a little at the close, but watch out for James Remar, the contract killer posing as a pornographer.

Release details

Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Danny DeVito
Screenwriter: Larry Doyle
Cast: Ben Stiller
Drew Barrymore
Eileen Essel
Harvey Fierstein
Justin Theroux
James Remar
Robert Wisdom
Swoosie Kurtz
Wallace Shawn
Maya Rudolph
Amber Valletta
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