Directed By: Harold Ramis
Written By: Chris Miller wrote the short story and he as well as three others are credited with writing screenplay.
Following the unfortunate death of Harold Ramis I felt compelled to own more of his films. The collection already features many as you can see by looking at The List but somehow it didn’t seem like enough. This guy was a legend; he was a great comedy director and writer as well as a capable actor when his name was called. I was a huge fan, and I felt a loss with his passing harder than I thought I would. I see Ramis as something greater than most because he was a multi-talented filmmaker that did everything. He was more than simply a writer, actor, or director. He was a filmmaker in every aspect of the process and he made some really funny films. This film in particular had not been part of our collection before his passing but looking over the ones I didn’t own it jumped out at me. I remember watching it when it came out back in 96 and thought it was just OK. I don’t think it is necessarily an exceptional film now but I do like the collaboration of Ramis with Michael Keaton. The pairing of two guys I grew up with that just aren’t that popular anymore made me pull the plug. Sometimes I miss the days when one blasted ghosts with his proton pack and the other haunted criminals at night as the caped crusader.
Harold Ramis knew how to give a funny actor the freedom to do his thing. It was one of the reasons he worked so well with Bill Murray both as an actor and director back in the day. In this film he gave Michael Keaton the freedom to showcase his comedic talents. I’ve never thought of Michael Keaton as a specifically funny actor, I have always unequivocally thought of him as Batman. Nevertheless he has proven more than once that he has the ability to play a great part in a comedy. He was great as BeetleJuice and I sincerely hope for the opportunity to see him play that part again. The talk of a sequel to that one has heated up some and I for one will have my fingers crossed in anticipation. As for his part in this film; it gave him so much opportunity to be funny because he actually got to play four different sides of the same character. I specifically thought about how funny he was in this movie when I decided to purchase it and don’t regret the decision. I think Doug1 is really cool because he is just regular old Michael Keaton. Doug2 is cool because he gets so aggressively butch and macho as the movie progresses. Doug3 is my favorite because I think the feminine Keaton is the funniest of the bunch. Doug4 is technically the funniest but I always find myself laughing at Doug3 more. It makes no matter as they are all great in their own way as brought to life by Michael Keaton. I think I have sufficiently talked him up at this point. His career took a spill for a long time but I’m hoping that things are turning around for him. I haven’t seen the Robocop remake yet but part of the reason I look forward to doing so is because it was a big part for Keaton to get after a long time of not getting big parts.
I mentioned this movie to a friend of mine recently and it sent him on a tangent about how much he hated Andie MacDowell. He specifically said she was in two of his favorite movies, this and Groundhog Day. I found it interesting that both movies were made by Harold Ramis and imagine he liked MacDowell specifically. I don’t get why my friend hates on her because I don’t see anything to hate. I don’t know that she really brought a lot to the table in either film he mentioned but I think she fit the part in both movies well. It can be difficult to play opposite some actors, specifically someone like Bill Murray, and I think she did a good job of it. Another little tid bit about her is that I used to work with a guy who met her at a screening of an independent film once. She was long past her moment in the sun at the time and her presence was a bit surprising to him. He spoke fondly of her saying that she was both approachable and really down to Earth.
In order to appreciate this film you have to look past the flaws in storytelling and just appreciate the performance from Michael Keaton. They could have called this movie “The Michael Keaton Show” if they had been so inclined because that is pretty much what it is. I think he deserves more recognition for the part if nothing else because he did an outstanding job portraying different parts of the same man. As the working Doug he is appropriately macho, as family man Doug he is hilariously feminine, and as the mentally handicapped Doug he is funny in a way that only a child can be. All in all Keaton pulled all the stops to be really laughable and I thoroughly enjoyed this film. If you get the opportunity to see it then you should check it out. It’s worth your time and a great opportunity to see the talents of two stalwarts of the late 80s and early 90s giving it another go as the sun set on their careers. (I sincerely hope in time that statement turns out to be false for Keaton, I will never give up on the BEST Batman).
I used to watch this movie all the time when I was younger. I think my mom owned it. It’s hard to remember. I just thought how cool it would be to clone yourself. I also thought this was very far fetched and way off from anything I would see in my lifetime. Yet, today we are cloning all sorts of things and 3D printing almost anything. Human cloning has a whole other moral and ethical issue surrounding it, which I wasn’t even close to knowing when I was younger and watching this movie. And now that I am a working mom, I think this idea is greater than ever.
This poster is very 90s. I think it is simple, but works. The typography is playful, but could probably do a little more. Since the name of the game is cloning in the movie, maybe some science symbols or something could have been really clever to add into the title. I do enjoy all of the negative space in this poster. It is so simple, and rewarding. I think you get a very clear view of what this movie is about, just by looking at the poster. I like it and am pleasantly surprised.
NEXT MOVIE: My Life (1993)