[Screen It]


(2003) (Ben Stiller, Drew Barrymore) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Mild *Heavy Mild Moderate
Mild None Minor None Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Minor Minor Mild Moderate

Comedy: A young couple buys a Brooklyn duplex with an elderly upstairs tenant only to have her turn their lives upside down by her sweet-natured but progressively annoying and meddlesome ways.
With the help of realtor Kenneth (HARVEY FIERSTEIN), Alex Rose (BEN STILLER) and Nancy Kendricks (DREW BARRYMORE) have just bought a large duplex in Brooklyn. They're happy with their purchase, and don't seem to mind that the place comes with an elderly tenant, Mrs. Connelly (EILEEN ESSELL), who lives in a rent-controlled apartment above them.

While Nancy heads off to work for her demanding boss, Herman (WALLACE SHAWN), Alex hopes to finish his second novel that's due to his publisher, Jean (SWOOSIE KURTZ), in just a few weeks. Yet, when he sets out to work in his new home office, Mrs. Connelly repeatedly shows up at the door, asking for various favors.

That results in the couple becoming increasingly annoyed by her chronic interruptions and loud TV volume at night that results in them getting no sleep. They eventually come to the breaking point and politely suggest that Mrs. Connelly move back to Ireland. She starts to agree, but then chokes on a candy, resulting in the couple having to perform CPR on her. When she comes to, however, she thinks they're molesting her and reports them to the police.

From that point on, and as they become increasingly frustrated by the situation but must contend with police officer Dan (ROBERT WISDOM) warily watching them, Alex and Nancy contemplate how to resolve their situation, including possibly hiring local hitman Chick (JAMES REMAR) to take care of their problem.

If they're fans of anyone in the cast or black comedies, they just might.
For sexual content, language and some violence.
  • BEN STILLER plays a novelist under a deadline who becomes increasingly annoyed by and frustrated with their upstairs tenant's ways. He uses some profanity, drinks and uses various means to try to get her out, including homicide.
  • DREW BARRYMORE plays his wife who loses her job because of Mrs. Connelly, drinks and joins her husband in trying to rid their duplex and lives of the old woman.
  • EILEEN ESSELL plays their elderly Irish tenant who becomes something of a soft-spoken pest and annoyance to Alex and Nancy. She smokes once and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • HARVEY FIERSTEIN plays the real estate agent who finds the duplex for Alex and Nancy.
  • JAMES REMAR plays a pornographer by day and hitman by night who's hired to take care of Mrs. Connelly.
  • ROBERT WISDOM plays a police officer who looks after Mrs. Connelly and doesn't like what he sees in Alex and Nancy.
  • SWOOSIE KURTZ plays Alex's publisher who wants his latest novel from him.
  • WALLACE SHAWN plays Nancy's demanding boss.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick look at the content found in this black comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some sexually related dialogue is present, the covers (and titles) of a few pornographic videos are seen (nothing explicit visually), a couple fools around (and apparently has sex off camera) and an older woman begins to pleasure herself in a bubble bath.

    Presented in a black comedy fashion, violence consists of a person shooting another person in the shoulder with a spear gun (followed by some struggling), a person is nicked by a gunshot, and some slapstick style material (hitting, throwing, tripping, etc.) and property damage occur. In direct relation to that, various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (all played for laughs) and some sabotage moments might be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    Some crude humor (including brief but graphic vomiting) is present, while some characters drink and a few smoke. If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • Alex and Nancy bring wine as a gift to Mrs. Connelly, which she accepts, but says she won't drink any since she thinks it's a sin. Alex and Nancy do have some, and Mrs. Connelly later brings Alex the leftover amount.
  • Mrs. Connelly comments that a writer died drunk and penniless.
  • People have wine at a party.
  • People have drinks in a bar where Nancy has wine and Alex has beer.
  • Nancy says they should open some champagne to celebrate Alex finishing his novel. Nancy later has some.
  • Mrs. Connelly sarcastically tells her assailant, "If you're going to f*ck with me, you've got to buy me a drink first."
  • As Alex gets up off Mrs. Connelly's couch, we hear a fart-like sound (that he blames on the couch).
  • Mrs. Connelly chews up a hot dog piece and then takes it from her mouth to feed her parrot (some might think that looks gross).
  • Alex pulls a barb of some sort from his toe (seen in close-up with a tiny bit of blood/gore).
  • Hoping to catch the flu from a sick person, Alex breathes in the mist from an infected sneeze. Later, a sick Nancy wipes her own nose and then rubs it on Mrs. Connelly's shawl.
  • Alex tries to fix Mrs. Connelly's backed-up kitchen sink that's filled with putrid water. That water ends up splashing in Nancy's face just as the back-up breaks, prompting her to vomit (graphically) into the sink and thus down onto Alex's face below the pipes.
  • While mad at her, Alex sarcastically goes on about Mrs. Connelly needing him to wipe her rear after using the bathroom (which doesn't occur), about her having a poopy diaper and licking her off with his tongue.
  • Alex has red marks on his face following a gas oven explosion.
  • Everything that occurs in the film is played for laughs (albeit in a black comedy fashion).
  • Mrs. Connelly takes advantage of Alex and Nancy's initial good-natured attitudes and becomes an annoyance and pest. In turn, they set out in various ways to get her out of her apartment, including infecting her with the flu and later attempting to kill her and hiring a hitman to do the same.
  • Alex and Nancy try to sabotage Mrs. Connelly's place (by adjusting her rug so she'll trip, putting salt into her sugar, turning off the pilot light in her stove, adjusting her lamp to shock her, infecting her with the flu via tainted popcorn, and breaking her plumbing so she'll fall through the floor, etc.) to kill her.
  • Alex and Nancy break into Mrs. Connelly's apartment via their common dumbwaiter.
  • Some people have bad attitudes for taking advantage of others for their own profit.
  • Mrs. Connelly chokes on a candy and Alex must perform the Heimlich maneuver on her (played for laughs).
  • A hitman slowly makes his way into Mrs. Connelly's place carrying a knife.
  • Alex picks up a spear gun in Mrs. Connelly's place, plays around with it, and nearly shoots Nancy by accident (the spear lands in the wall next to her and it's all played for laughs). Later, the spear gun is fired into another person's shoulder (no blood).
  • Alex buys a handgun on the street and shows Nancy. She picks it up and accidentally shoots him. We don't see the impact, but hear she hit his penis, although a doctor later says it nicked his "berries" (testicles).
  • A hitman carries a large knife as he enters his intended victim's place.
  • Phrases: "If you're going to f*ck with me, you've got to buy me a drink first," "Chickensh*t," "As loose as a Dublin whore," "It's pissing down" (raining), "Shut up," "Holy crap," "Hell-hole," "We're totally screwed," "Butt-boy," "How are you doing, mutton-head?" "Berries" (testicles), "Fag" (cigarette), "Hag," "Freaking," "You fruit" and "Bitch" (woman).
  • Alex gives "the finger" to the ceiling (and to an unseen Mrs. Connelly).
  • Alex and Nancy try to sabotage Mrs. Connelly's place (by adjusting her rug so she'll trip, putting salt into her sugar, turning off the pilot light in her stove, adjusting her lamp to shock her, infecting her with the flu via tainted popcorn, and breaking her plumbing so she'll fall through the floor, etc.) to kill her.
  • None.
  • A bit of comically suspenseful music plays in a few scenes.
  • None.
  • At least 1 "f" word, 2 "s" words, 4 slang terms for male genitals ("Mr. Peabody"), 8 asses (2 used with "hole"), 1 crap, 1 damn, 6 uses of "Oh my God," 3 of "Oh God" and 1 use of "God."
  • A writer proudly exposes his wife's bare pregnant belly (but she doesn't even look pregnant).
  • Mrs. Connelly says that her macaw is named after her late husband, Richard, and then says, "I've had little Dick for 40 years" (a double entendre on the part of the film).
  • Alex and Nancy passionately kiss in bed, he takes his shirt off and she tells his penis (that we don't see), "Hello, Mr. Peabody." He's then partially on top of her, but noises from Mrs. Connelly's apartment interrupt them. They then start to kiss again, but more noise stops them once more.
  • We see a cartoon of Alex in a bubble bath that Nancy has created with an arrow pointing in the direction of his crotch with the words "Mr. Peabody" on it (the cartoon is seen several times).
  • Nancy shows some cleavage when she bends over. She then tells Alex that they forgot to christen their new place (sexually). The two passionately kiss and then go out of the camera shot. Moments later, we see Nancy show up back in the camera shot (head and bare shoulders), apparently after they're done (she looks pleased and sweaty and makes a pleasured sound). She then spots Mrs. Connelly looking in through the glass in their front door and we see that Alex is shirtless as well.
  • Alex tries to avoid having Mrs. Connelly spot him hiding in her place. He ends up in the bathroom as she starts the tub. We then see her in a bubble bath where she puts a sponge down under the water and apparently starts to pleasure herself (we see a pleasured look on her face, as well as one of horror from Alex as he watches this).
  • Alex and Nancy do some passionate kissing in bed, but are interrupted.
  • A hitman states that he's a pornographer and hands Alex several porno videos titled "Deep Inside" and "Ass Patrol" (the latter has the shape of a woman bent over from behind, but nothing explicit is seen). We later see that Alex still has that video. The woman with the hitman wears a short skirt, while another woman at a party shows some cleavage.
  • Nancy tells Mrs. Connelly that she and Alex are trying to have a baby, prompting Connelly to say that she saw that in the living room (referring to the above scene).
  • Mrs. Connelly comes to (after Alex and Nancy performer CPR on her) and believes they've sexually molested her (due to seeing her lipstick on Alex's mouth and Nancy's hands on her clothed breasts). She later tells Officer Dan that Alex stole her drawers (underwear) for sniffing (he didn't). The cop then calls Alex a sexual predator.
  • Mrs. Connelly refers to something as "loose as a Dublin whore."
  • After Nancy accidentally shoots Alex (we hear she hit his penis, but a doctor later says it nicked his "berries" (testicles), Nancy wonders about his functionality. Thus, the female doctor puts her hand up under the covers, gropes and asks him if he "feels that" and he replies that he does (in a pleasured sort of way).
  • Mrs. Connelly smokes once, as does a miscellaneous person.
  • A guy asks a pharmacist about Nicorette.
  • Mrs. Connelly says that her husband died in 1963.
  • Getting along with one's neighbors.
  • Black comedies.
  • Being old
  • Writers.
  • Most everything listed below is played for laughs (albeit in a black comedy fashion).
  • Alex falls from a window and hits the ground hard (we don't see the impact).
  • Surprised by Nancy bringing people into her apartment, Mrs. Connelly sprays self-defense spray into Nancy's boss's eyes, causing him to fall and slide down the staircase (we later see him with his arm in a sling).
  • Mrs. Connelly chokes on a candy and Alex must perform the Heimlich maneuver on her (played for laughs). After the candy pops out, he drops her, but then pounds her chest on the floor to try to get her heart started.
  • Officer Dan grabs Alex by the face and pulls him over his desk to reprimand him.
  • Irritated by the woman, Nancy grabs Mrs. Connelly and tosses her down the steps (the old woman tumbles down them, but Nancy then admits that was a fantasy). Alex then talks about his homicidal fantasies toward Mrs. Connelly and we see a visualized one where he throws her wrapped body into the water.
  • Mrs. Connelly accidentally tosses Alex's laptop computer into her fireplace. After retrieving it, he trips and sends it flying out onto the street where a large truck runs over it.
  • Alex slips on some icy stairs.
  • A gas oven explosion knocks Alex back across the kitchen, while Nancy is shocked by a lamp she's sabotaging (all played for laughs).
  • A plumbing leak leads to much of Mrs. Connelly's floor collapsing down into Alex and Nancy's place, causing property damage.
  • Alex buys a handgun on the street and shows Nancy. She picks it up and accidentally shoots him. We don't see the impact, but hear she hit his penis, although a doctor later says it nicked his "berries" (testicles).
  • A preponderance of bass from Mrs. Connelly's apartment causes things (such as pictures) to fall and break in Alex and Nancy's place.
  • Alex violently shreds another author's novel.
  • To distract Officer Dan from uncovering their plan, Nancy repeatedly punches and otherwise hits Alex.
  • Mrs. Connelly fires a spear gun into another person's shoulder (no blood). She then struggles with that other person (as a fire breaks out in her place) and twists the embedded spear, but is left unconscious in the middle of the fire.

  • Reviewed September 24, 2003 / Posted September 26, 2003

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