Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sort of a Slapstick Tragedy

War Of The Roses staring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as a couple in a failing marriage, living in a home they bought when they were struggling to make a lovely place out of a upper class hovel.

I think that when this movie was released, I was just getting through some of the roughest times in my whole life.

A friend, (whose son ended up being one of my sons-in-law) and I had been doing a little fill-in work, as my husband had been seriously injured in an accident due to someone running a stop sign, and T-boning him.

We were just looking for something to do to release some pent-up pressure in our lives. One of us suggested we see a movie. I don't think we even really knew what it was all about until it started moving along.


Now, with Oliver (Michael Douglas) and Barbara (Kathleen Turner) Rose splitting, neither one is willing to part with things that they consider meaningful to them. Both want this home that they both love, and that Barbara decorated.

This is one divorce that was anything but amicable.  Though much was meant to appear funny, if one thought about things, and in that position, considering it to be realistic in some sense, it would have been depressing.  However, it was intended to have both comedy and tragedy all rolled up in the bundling of this divorce.  My friend and I laughed louder than everyone else all combined in the theater and there were actually people turning around to see who on earth was roaring like that.  After a while, we even had to stop just to catch our breath.

War Od The Roses was rated (R) for some tragic and messy scenes at the time. Nowadays, it would probably only be rated PG 13.

Divorce lawyer, played by Danny De Vito warns his prospective client that the story he's about to tell isn't a pretty one, but the client listens with eager intensity -- as do the folks out there in the movie in the audience. The War of the Roses can best be described as a slapstick tragedy concerning the decline and literal fall of a marriage. After 17 years, Oliver (Michael Douglas) and Barbara (Kathleen Turner) Rose want a divorce. Not for this couple is there anything resembling a "civilized understanding": Barbara wants their opulent house, and Oliver isn't about to part with the domicile. Barbara nails the basement door shut while Oliver is downstairs, Oliver disrupts Barbara's fancy party by taking aim at the catered dinner, Barbara lays waste to Oliver's sports car....and so it goes, culminating in a disastrous showdown around, about and under the living room's fancy chandelier. DeVito and screenwriter Michael Leeson never let us forget that the couple's self-indulgent imbroglio exacts an awful price upon their children (Sean Astin and Heather Fairfield). The War of the Roses was adapted from the novel by Warren Adler.

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