The foundation is there: a darkly funny director (Danny DeVito) tells the story of two New York City duplex owners (Drew Barrymore and Ben Stiller) who are trying to get rid of the stubborn, cranky old lady (Eileen Essel) in the rent-controlled flat above them. So, why does the whole enterprise come crashing down? Because we've seen these types of shabby, domestic squabbles all too many times before.
You know the drill: Pipes rattle and tempers flair until the roof falls in. Think Mousehunt. Or Money Pit with more vomit jokes. Somehow, Barrymore and Stiller even allow Essel to totter off with every scene as she dances comic circles around them. Rent-controlled or not, the price of admission just ain't worth it this time.