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on June 7, 2005
This the darkest of all the dark comedies I have ever seen. There are moments of lightness but they come all too seldom and the story of increasing bitterness and pettiness comes to the fore.

The Roses fell in love in college, married and seemed to have the perfect life. He was an ivy league lawyer and she was the "perfect housewife". They both have their problems. He takes her too much for granted and she is a materialistic snob. Still, they seem to be so much in love that they can overcome their personal foibles. It doesn't work out that way.

After he is rushed to the hospital with an apparent heart attack, she is too busy with her career to even pick him up when he is discharged. Later that night, she tells him that she wants a divorce. From there, the vindictiveness and sniping continue to escalate as both descend into an orgy of mutual contempt and hatred.

There are times when it is possible to feel sorry for both of the characters. More often, both seem to be too contemptible to pity. Each is more concerned with the destruction of the other and "winning" than in any possible healing. There are some differences. He genuinely loves her and she genuinely hates him. This is carried right through to the bitter, and I do mean BITTER, end.

It's hard to call this entertaining. It is frightening, though, to see how far hatred can take a person. Anyone contemplating a divorce should see this film. Anyone contemplating a particularly nasty divorce should see it daily.

Don't let this be YOU!
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on July 11, 2000
This is possibly one of my best movies of all time.The fact that a wonderful marriage started out with a huge family house and nice cars always meant that disaster at some point in the marriage would strike.Michael Douglas is at his very best in this film and when his wife one day turns round to him and says " Everytime i see your face i want to smash your face in" he has more than a battle on his hands to keep his estate. Danny Devito also plays a part as his wisdom is needed as a lawyer to sort out the messed up situation. This film is very gripping and the humour of the film is tremendous. A must see and buy film straight away, it will under no cicumstances dissappoint you unless you are currently filing for a divorce!
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on August 20, 2003
How do you hold on to someone who want stay and how do you get reed of someone who want leave?
Oliver and Barbara (Douglas and Turner) meet at the auction. With instant chemistry between the two they are soon married. Typical American family - perfect house, 2 children, work-slave husband and bored wife. As time goes by, Barbara realizes that she no longer likes Oliver and asks for a divorce. Unfortunately for her Oliver is still crazy about her, but agrees to give her the divorce. And as we all though this would be just another civilized split, all hell breaks loose. Barbara wants to keep the house that she found and decorated, but Oliver (who paid for it) will not give it up either. And after an advice from his lawyer (DeVito) he moves back into the house. While Barbara is determined to get Oliver to leave and Oliver is trying to rekindle the romance, there civilized coexistence quickly becomes very interesting.
Believe it or not I have not given much of the movie away. Yes, you now know what the basic story is, but to watch it is a completely different. Three of the return after two successful movies and deliver performances that's unmatched by anything else in there carriers. This film is one of the darkest comedies you'll ever watch. And I believe that everyone should watch it at least once. It'll make you think twice about a lot of things in life. Absolutely brilliant. An ending that will stay with you for a long time.
And when a person making $400.00/hr wants to tell you a story for free, you should listen to it.
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on June 30, 2015
I have watched this movie at least ten times, from when it first came out until now, it still gives me a huge sense of foreboding, and righteousness. How could it turn out any other way? I always have thought that the way people first meet is the way their life his/her story turns out, and theirs definitely showed us just that, after all what were they doing in the beginning of the movie? I find that if I miss the first few minutes of any movie, I don't get the point, this movie is that way. These people could have been the happiest people in the world, instead they came together to compete simply because it is what they both liked to do best. It was a war, and the casualties, other than the material, tangibles? Their children. That is why I had to watch it again and again and again. At first it was the obvious, but like all good movies, there is always something just beneath the surface that is never easy to grasp. This one has many huge messages, watch it carefully, paying close attention to those little, most important details.
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on August 9, 2002
Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas star in this movie with a chemistry greater than either of their previous films together, namely Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile. Their shared screen time is filled with a frenzied mixture of passion, anger, lust, devotion, and resentment, a relationship that, however abstract and unrealistic it is skewed in this movie, reflects what's left of a lot of relationships once the lust leaves the marriage, or once a couple finally spends some time together (i.e. after the kids have left the nest).
It has been a long standing joke that once the kids go to college or leave the nest, many spouses find themselves wondering: "Who the hell did I marry?" Things that were never noticed now are found nagging; a sensitive husband suddenly becomes controlling; a neat homemaker suddenly becomes obsessively compulsive; a mother, now that her duties are cut, becomes anxious to get out of the house. This is exactly what this movie relates, from the Roses' passionate meeting, to their years of "struggle" as Douglas' character builds his career to support his growing family, to their subsequent wealth and success, and finally a lull is reached when they are wealthy and suceessful, yet they have nowhere seemingly left to go.
One of the things that a lot of viewers seemingly miss while watching the movie is the greater picture- the Rose's marriage was one built on attraction and lust. While that has been enough to sustain many marriages, this is not the case here. After the lust leaves the marriage the couple begins to notice every irritating thing the other half does, which is what happens in a lot of marriages. The difference here is that their personalities, both being uncompromising, ambitious, and, yes, more than a tad sadistic, cause Turner's and Douglas' characters to take things past the point where any realisic (i.e. amiable) seperation is possible.
Perhaps it is just me, but if anything I find this movie to affirm marriage, as long as it takes place out of mutual love and respect, not just lust. Sure this movie delivers plenty of shock power and may leave you with a feeling of bitterness, but overall this, as Devito's character (a lawyer and the narrator) mentions, is a "cautionary tale." Keep that in mind and you will find yourself wriggling in your seat with laughter and shock from the onscreen antics as Douglas and Turner terrorize each other onscreen.
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on June 21, 2016
This movie may be kinda funny but it conveys deep truths about the probabilities and tendencies of annihilating each other in marriage. Once one has not reached the stage of allowing one's desires and tastes to be shaped by the other partner (and vice versa), there'll always be a further episode to the war of the roses. Once an issue begins, the movie teaches that it has to be discussed thoroughly, understood by both parties and resolved as soon as possible before it assumes unpleasant dimensions. The ripple effects of an atmosphere devoid of compromise and forgiveness are unavoidable:no intimacy, lack of trust, apathy and insensitivity to each other's feelings, family breakdown and ultimate destruction. A movie every married couple should watch at one point or another in their marriage life, probably at the beginning of their marriage.
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on August 2, 2013
Danny DeVito directed my favourite dark comedy of all time. I've seen this at least 100 times on cable - and I still bought it. It's funny, and dark, and most of us can even relate to the relationship between the divorcees, played by Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. But hopefully, none of us relate to it TOO well. :D Danny DeVito narrates their story in short breaks in the film and adds to it's hilarity.
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on January 7, 2014
Great sequel to go along with Romancing the stone and Jewel of the Nile. Movie keeps you wondering what will happen next. Great comedy-the ending made it so no more squeals could be made,
A definite collectors addition to the series.
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on March 7, 2014
An excellent classic dark comedy about a divorce gone way off the rails. Had me laughing the whole time. If you know a friend who's going through a separation, bring over bottles of wine and watch this!
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on March 9, 2016
I would've given this film one star if not for Danny Devito. A good actor who deserved a better film. My first question regarding this movie is why these two people are getting divorced. It starts out as a relatively "normal" couple and seconds later the wife wants a divorce. Why? In my opinion this question is never really answered. There's no question that she can't stand her husband but it's not clear why. My next issue is that neither spouse is willing to leave, insisting that the house is rightfully theirs. I have two issues with this. The first is that for two people determined to keep their "beautiful" home, they spend a whole lot of time damaging everything in it, which, to me, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The second issue I have is that these two rich people are more concerned over the "custody" of their house than the two kids they have together. And to that end, what was the point of having the kids in the film? They didn't add anything to the plot and were pretty insignificant. My final issue with this film was that it's supposed to be funny. Question: which part was supposed to be funny? Because if there was something amusing about this film I completely missed it. Two petty, selfish people die because it was more important to make each other as miserable as possible so they could keep the house than to find a way to divorce amicably as possible. Where is the humor in that? In my experience, that's called a tragedy.
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