Duplicity (2009)

(In theaters, March 2009) High-intensity romantic films for adults aren’t that common, so it’s a bit of a treat to see writer/director Tony Gilroy turn from drama (Michael Clayton) to comedy with a smart romance set in the world of corporate espionage. He’s an ex-MI6 agent-runner; she’s an ex-CIA infiltrator; but together, they commit crime! The only problem is, can they stand each other long enough to get away from the prize? Do they really love each other, and how can they be sure of it? Clive Owen and Julia Roberts are wonderful in the lead roles, and if the result can occasionally turn in circles, it’s a clever film that does a nice job at asking the audience to keep up. The look at corporate espionage alone is a unique mixture of high stakes and ridiculous rivalry: the complexities of frozen pizzas have seldom been so amusing. The ending is bound to surprise and maybe even disappoint a few, but it’s one of those conclusions that make more and more sense the longer you think about it: the last shot ends up being a perfect conclusion to one of the film’s lingering questions.

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