The War of the Roses (1989)


“There are two dilemmas… that rattle the human skull. How do you hold onto someone who won’t stay? And how do you get rid of someone who won’t go?” – Gavin

Number of Times Seen – Twice (7 Feb 2011 and 9 Mar 2022)

Brief Synopsis – A divorce lawyer tells a new potential client the story of the nasty divorce of his good friends, the Roses.

My Take on it – Fun movie that takes things a bit too far.

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner had great chemistry in two adventure films earlier in the decade (The Romancing the Stone duology) and this film tries to bank on that chemistry.

The story attempts to show how a seemingly happy marriage can quickly turn ugly.

The problem here is that they use a comedic perspective in order to take things far to the extreme and things are just too farcical the whole way through insteda of being more of a profound cautionary tale.

The fact that this film was directed and narrated by Danny Devito adds a nice nuance to it all since he also was in those previous films with Douglas and Turner.

My favorite scene here is the dinner party scene which is a point where things escalate beyond the point of no return.

This film is a general warning about the dangers of miscommunication in a marriage and in lesser hands would have probably not been as profound as some of the scenes are despite going too far at certain points.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – While shooting the scene where Michael Douglas (Oliver Rose) and Kathleen Turner (Barbara Rose) are sitting in the chandelier, director Danny DeVito pretended to break for lunch while the two actors were 30 feet above ground. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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