Running time: 125 minutes
From the Poster: She's Ex-CIA. He's Ex-MI6. Together they're stealing a fortune.
As the movie open, it's 2003, Dubai. Boy meets girl, boy and girl have tons of fun, girl drugs boy after a good time is had, and makes of with secret plans.
Jump to present day. Ray (Boy-Clive Owen) has since retired from MI6 and now works in corporate espionage. Claire (Girl-Julia Roberts) has retired from the CIA and also works in corporate espionage. Since the end of the cold war, agents of all variety have gone corporate, easy money and few bullets. Ray works for one big wig corporation and Claire the other, both manufacturing personal care products, shaving cream, soaps, shampoos. Claire is in actually a double agent working both sides of the corporate world, sneaking soapy secrets out to the other side. She's a plant put in place by Richard Garsik (Paul Giamatti) against his arch rival Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson).
As Claire works to steal the zealously guarded secrets from Howard's company, Ray becomes her handler. He's still upset about Dubia....or is he? Flash back to Rome, three years earlier. Ray - Don't I know you, I'm terrible with names, but people I sleep with, B...B+ Claire - (laughingly) Why don't you jog my memory.
Rome turns out to be lots of fun. (This happens several time throughout the movie, Boy meets Girl -- argue...always end up in bed...always funny and sweet...and may I say, lots of near naked Clive Owen...lots of chest hair. And for the guys -- Julia Roberts in a thong! Well, she doesn't actually take it off, just shows it off and says it's her's. Feels like a chick flick, with just enough to keep the guys interested.)
Months earlier through flash backs, the viewer finds that Ray and Claire having been cooking up a scheme of their own. Corporate espionage turned corporate sell out, make a ton of money, retire together, and enjoy the good life. Problem - neither one can entirely trust the other. Remember Dubai......So, now we know their in bed together, both literally and figuratively.
Howard's company has discovered the newest biggest personal care product of all time and it's going to close the doors on Dick's company. There is much scrambling to find the secret, what it is, what's it used for, and how much money is it worth? Finally, Claire stumbles upon the secret, and after a lot running around, trying to find a copy machine that Dick's company has access to, she deliveries the big news. The new product is a shampoo. But not any ordinary shampoo, this one is all natural and re-grows hair. No more bald guys or hair club for men, it's going to be shampoo city and it's going to make a fortune, for whoever can manufacture the product fastest. Or is it?......
As Dick's company makes the big announcement of their new find, their new product, that will revolutionize hair care, Howard is slowly revealing his plan. Howard and Dick have been rivals for many years, sometimes coming to blows. And Dick is a real life d***. So, as Dick is revealing his new product, Howard lets everyone else in on the secret. There is no new product, it's all been a big con. He has dupped everyone. Including his security chief, Claire, who he knows has all along been working for arch rival Dick. In fact, Dick's whole security team is on Howard's payroll.
During this whole debacle, Ray and Claire sneak off to Germany to sell the formula to the Swiss, unknown to them that the formula is a fraud. The Swiss have offered big bucks for the new discovery which turns out to be a hand cream, and not a very good one. The Swiss withdraw their millions and go home. Ray and Claire are stunned, as a bottle of champaign is delivered courtesy of Howard. The corporate spies have been played and in a big way, by an amateur.
This was an incredibly fun movie from start to finish, reminiscent of Ocean's Eleven. It did get a little confusing with all the flashing back and flashing forward, repeating dialogue so after a bit the viewer could repeat it with the characters. But the chemistry between Julia Roberts and Clive Owen more than makes up for any confuse, they worked well together on the big screen.
The setting takes place all over the world, beautiful landscapes and scenery. Eventually, the viewer figures out how to keep up with the movie, maybe this was done to keep the audience on their toes and encourage a second viewing. I don't know, but I do know that it was funny and sweet. It was a good love story, multiple views of Clive Owen in the near next to nothing. Julia Roberts played a strong woman with her own goals and agenda, but in a funny, sweet, irresistible kind of way. If you like a little intrigue mixed with a little romance with lots of plot twist, Duplicity is the movie for you. I had a good time!
Here's a peek at the trailer.