Director-writer Tony Gilroy has built upon the industry’s admiration and respect for Michael Clayton, his still-in-play corporate thriller with George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson and the great Sydney Pollack, and landed a followup gig as the director-writer of Duplicity, a Julia Roberts-Clive Owen thriller for Universal.
Sincere congrats on an excellent career move, but my God…that title. You hear it and without a second’s hesitation your mind says “second tier,” “Netflix,” “seen it before,” “disposable,” etc. I can see the DVD on the shelf at Laser Blazer as I write this. Michael Fleming‘s 10.31 Variety piece says Owen and Roberts will play amorous corporate spies employed by opposing companies “who team up to stage an elaborate con to rip off corporations and steal a valuable product.” I’m sorry, but that sounds a little too much like a Ryan O’Neal-Farrah Fawcett movie from the early ’80s.
Half of the problem will go away if Gilroy just changes the title. Any song or movie title with the letters “ity” at the end suggests roteness, boredom, disengagement. Multiplicity, synchronicity, plasticity, absurdity…all bad.