USA [1989] - 116m
Comedy, Romance
Directed by
Danny DeVito
More info on
The War of the Roses poster


October 02, 2021


Don't expect a funny comedy. The comedy is in the exaggeration, other than that it's just two people fighting and shouting at each other through a particularly mean divorce. I guess cruelty has always been part of DeVito's characters and comedy, but having him at the helm of the film brings it out full steam.

Oliver and Barbara meet each other at an auction. Barbara outbids Oliver, but the two hit it off, marrying not long after. Life is good to them, but throughout their marriage rut creeps in. When they finally reach the point they worked for all these years (executive job, big house, kids), their marriage is dead. And so, Barbara asks for a divorce.

Turner and Douglas fall short here. Not that it's easy, playing characters who are fundamentally flawed and annoying, but they manage poorly. I did like the more over-the-top scenes (mostly near the ending), the introduction is a bit long in the tooth though. Not dark enough for a black comedy, not funny enough for a plain comedy.

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