Multiplicity Review

A man who never has enough time for the things he wants to do is offered the opportunity to have himself duplicated.

by Caroline Westbrook |
Published on
Release Date:

27 Sep 1996

Running Time:

117 minutes



Original Title:


At first glance, Multiplicity would appear to be almost a carbon copy of the classic hit comedy Groundhog Day, complete with director Harold Ramis, star Andie MacDowell and a concept high enough to bring on a vertiginous bout. However, instead of Bill Murray living the same day over and over again, this time Michael Keaton is called upon to be the same person over and over again, with less successful but still enormously agreeable, results.

Keaton is Doug Kinney, a construction foreman who, with both a huge building contract to take care of, and a loving wife, Laura (McDowell) to appease, is suffering from a lack of hours in the day, until he meets a revolutionary doctor (Yulin) who offers to clone him. Doug number two promptly appears, and for a while things are just peachy - his new-found lookalike handles the business while the original plays house-husband. But things get really interesting, when Doug number three appears, followed soon after by a hopelesly retarded number four to add to the growing air of confusion.

The one - or four - man show that ensues, may reduce all the peripheral characters, including MacDowell, to the level of set dressing, but provides a marvellous tour de force for Keaton, with each of his individual clones cleverly given its own personality and managing to co-exist without any confusion as to which is which.

Occasionally the impression is given that this could have been perhaps a tad more frenetic, with much of the hilarity confined to a series of seamlessly crafted set-pieces that allow Keaton to high-five himself, quarrel with himself, and become repeatedly exasperated with you-know-who. And the whole thing stops short of delivering any potential dark undercurrents in its quest for the ultimate in feelgood conclusions. However, by the time all three clones have succeeded in bedding MacDowell, it becomes clear that Multiplicity scores so highly on the entertainment scale that any attempt to provide anything deeper is really unneccessary.

Both assuredly funny without being forced, and smart without being smug, this is one comedy that deserves to go forth and, indeed, multiply.
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