The War of the Roses (1989)





Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Marianne S├Ągebrecht, Dan Castellaneta, Sean Astin, Trenton Teigen, Heather Fairfield, G.D. Spradlin, Peter Donat, David Wohl


The Roses, Barbara (Kathleen Turner) and Oliver (Michael Douglas), live happily as a married couple. Then she starts to wonder what life would be like without Oliver, and likes what she sees. Both want to stay in the house, and so they begin a campaign to force each other to leave.


This morning I wanted to laugh, so I told myself, "what could be better than DeVito's black comedy?", everybody seems to love it, so I gave it a try. The problem is that it didn't feel like a comedy. Don't get me wrong, I liked the film, but it just didn't feel like a comedy to me, and I love dark comedies. 

So basically The War of the Roses is brilliant, dark, and quite enjoyable, but it is not that funny - unless you find two people trying to kill each other for almost two hours hilarious.

The story is great overall, but it feels a bit rushed at parts: Douglas and Turner go from young, idealistic couple to hateful people trying to kill each other for material possessions, without much of an explication, and you'll wonder how they got so crazy. Also, the characters aren't well developed and there is nobody to root for. However the unexpected, unpredictable, tragic ending has something to teach. 

Everything is beautifully photographed in this film, and the musical score by David Newman is spectacular. Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are both superb, delivering the sparkling dialogue perfectly. 


Gavin: 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?


  1. Ricordo che lo vidi da bambino.
    Fu molto intenso, anche se lo trovai molto pesante. Apprezzo molto il finale...

  2. I really like this film. Haven't seen it in a while, though. Great review.