The late, great Harold Ramis’ 1996 film Multiplicity is one of the all-time great comedies. Michael Keaton is superb as Doug Kinney, the family man who is so busy in life that gets cloned three times in order to keep up with his demeaning existence. Based on a short story by Chris Miller which was published in National Lampoon magazine 1993, the high-concept comedy is steeped in rich characterisation.
Keaton brings nuance to each version of the character, playing up the subtle differences to deliver one of the greatest comedy performances of all time. He’s not just playing the same character – he’s playing four very distinct versions of the same man! Andie MacDowell co-stars as his wife.
There’s a certain irony that Multiplicity is often seen as a pale imitation Ramis’ own 1993 film Groundhog Day, but this 1996 film is actually better than that Bill Murray starrer. Multiplicity is a funnier film and and there’s much more complexity to its plotting.
Budgeted at $45 million, Multiplicity grossed just $21 million globally when it was released in 1996.