Watch The War of the Roses

"Once in a lifetime comes a motion picture that makes you feel like falling in love all over again. This is not that movie."

"The War of the Roses" is a black comedy. It is narrated by Gavin d'Amato (Danny DeVito). Gavin is a lawyer trying to counsel a client. In so doing, he recounts the tale of a loving marriage that ended in an especially bitter, ugly divorce. Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas) and his wife Barbara (Kathleen Turner) met in college. They married young, had children and did the traditional nuclear family lifestyle, but in the worst way possible. Oliver ended up essentially married to his legal career, with nothing but contempt for his wife, and Barbara ended up loving the home she created more than the family for whom she originally created it.

When a minor medical hiccup makes the couple wonder if Oliver is dying of a heart attack, Barbara realizes that the momentary prospect of being widowed left her with a sense of relief. She notifies Oliver of this fact in an insensitive, hurtful manner and initiates a divorce. Thus begins an unresolvable war.

The couple cannot focus on dissolving their union. Instead, they focus on fighting over the house, possessions and money. No compromise is possible. Oliver's offer of money for their antique-filled, expensively furnished house falls on deaf ears. Barbara wants the house. She poured her heart and soul into that. Oliver also wants the house. He paid for it with his blood, sweat and tears. Neither will budge. After initially moving out, Oliver moves back in, both to further antagonize Barbara and to stake his claim.

From there, things turn truly ugly. They begin publicly humiliating each other, destroying the property they are fighting over and eventually graduate to assault. Attempted murder becomes part of the package. There seems to be no limit to how low or how far they will go.

The final scene returns to the narrator. Gavin wraps up his modern morality tale. He then suggests his current client might be better off reconciling with his wife rather than battling it out in court.

R
| 1989 | 1 hr 56 min | 6.8/10
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Watch The War of the Roses Trailer

The War of the Roses|2:44
Trailer ( 1989 )|2:43

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