Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Seeing Triple

Director: Harold Ramis
Cast: Michael Keaton, Andie MacDonnell, Eugene Levy, Ann Cusack
Released: July 17, 1996

When it comes to movies about cloning, there are only two roads you can go down (besides the sci-fi road, of course). You can take the horror route or you can take the comedy route, which this movie does. I would advise you NOT to see this movie if you need things to make sense and are a very scientific person because this movie totally blows over the whole cloning process. I know nothing about science and even I know that cloning is not possible the way they do it in this movie!

This movie starts off with some of the worst opening credits I have ever seen in my life. If I ever see opening credits worse than this, I will be sure to report it, but I don't think anything could be worse than  the credits (in a non-exciting font, mind you) placed randomly on the screen (seriously, people, it's not even centered!!) with stock footage of busy Los Angeles traffic. Supposedly Doug, our main character is driving home from work, but we don't even see him (probably because Michael Keaton wasn't actually there - haven't these filmmakers ever heard of editing?) It is just so awful!

Doug has just been promoted at the construction company he works for and now he has even more responsibility. So much that he misses his daughter's dance recitals and son's baseball games and he doesn't have time to work on the house that his wife (Andie MacDonnell) has been asking him to do for awhile now. At a construction job, he runs into a scientists who can see how frustrated he is and asks Doug if he wants to make things easier. Doug agrees when he finds out that he can be cloned. He'll have the clone work at his job so he can spend more time with his family.

The cloning process in this movie is a relatively easy process. Almost too easy. Scarily easy. If cloning were as easy as it is in this movie, we should all be very afraid. The scientists takes a sample of Doug's DNA, then Doug is asked to count backwards from 100 and falls asleep for the operation...couldn't he just pull out a hair or have his blood drawn to give DNA? Oh, well. When he wakes up, the audience is to believe that is the original Doug, but it was actually his clone who has all of Doug's memories. He has a mark on him to distinguish he is a clone. He takes over Doug's job and Doug is able to spend time watching his kids and attending their events. However, Doug starts having a little TOO much free time on his hands and begs his clone to take over the home stuff so he can go back to work, but #2, as he is called, refuses, saying he was hired to oversee his job.

Doug decides to make another clone who can help out with his domestic life. #3 is very proper and a bit effeminate and is the most responsible of the clones. He lives with  #2 in a separate segment of the house. One day Doug comes home to find out that there is a  #4 who is a bit on the special side because he is a clone of a clone and therefore a little malfunctioned.

Now that he has his job and domestic life covered, Doug goes sailing with some friends for a couple days to collect his thoughts after he and his wife had a big fight. There's been a lot of miscommunication (gee, you think?) because of the multiple Dougs. Now I saw this movie when it first came out and I swore there was a scene where she finds out about the clones. She never does, but I must have been thinking of the scene where she encounters all three of them (separately, of course) in one night. While Doug is gone, he puts #3 in charge of domestic duty which means sleeping in the same bed as his wife. His first rule for the clones is that nobody sleeps with his wife and tells #3 to pretend he is sick if she's in the mood, which she is and #3 sleeps with her despite doing his best to act like he is horribly sick. She goes downstairs to get a midnight snack where #2  is trying to sneak away from the kitchen which he has snuck into to grab some food. She sees him and thinks he has come down to join her and they end up going at it on the kitchen counter. Even #4 gets some action. I can understand her not knowing about the first two clones, but she's gotta be a little suspicious about how....stupid #4 is. This scene is played for laughs with all the clones trying not to let her see them if she is with another clone, but if you think about it, it's rather quite creepy. She has sex with three different men who look like her husband, but aren't her husband.

This movie came out seven years after Back to the Future II where Michael J. Fox played multiple characters of his future family and three years after Dave where Kevin Kline plays two different characters, so having one actor play different characters in one scene was something the film studios seemed to be having fun with. (And I believe The Nutty Professor was the same year and The Parent Trap remake came out two years later). This technique has gotten better with time, but you could definitely tell when they were using trick cameras because the screen would look a bit unnatural during the scenes where Michael Keaton was doubled (or tripled or quadrupled).

I could not remember what happened to the clones at the end of the movie when Doug realizes he doesn't need them anymore. I knew in this comedy they wouldn't be set back to the lab and "destroyed". They move down to Florida and start a pizza business. I guess this movie didn't make enough money to garner a sequel.

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