THE WAR OF THE ROSES
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
Michael Douglas as OLIVER ROSE
Kathleen Turner as BARBARA ROSE
Danny DeVito as GAVIN D’AMATO
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Danny DeVito
BY KEVIN CARR
I have been a fan of Danny DeVito for a while. In many ways, I like him as a director more than I even like him as an actor. It’s a shame he hasn’t done many more movies, but his one-two punch of box office failure with “Death to Schmoochy” and “Duplex” really put a damper on his career.
Still, I like pretty much all of his few directing efforts, and I know he came on strong in the 80s with “Throw Momma from the Train” and “The War of the Roses.”
It was great to revisit “The War of the Roses” especially now since I saw it before I got married. (Incidentally, I took a date, and we enjoyed it, so it wasn’t exactly a romance deal-breaker you’d think it’d be.) With darker and less rose-colored glasses, I can see the folly of the Roses and how their marriage fell apart. But looking at it form a healthy marriage, it’s easy to see why there were so many problems.
But “The War of the Roses” isn’t a movie about how to fix a marriage. At its heart, it’s a dark comedy with a good message of learning to communicate and accept yourselves for your imperfections.
The story follows a well-to-do married couple who go overboard in a divorce battle. A series of terrible decisions put them in harm’s way and end up destroying their lives. Like “Hostel” for kids backpacking across Europe, “The War of the Roses” is a cautionary tale of how something fun can go disastrously wrong.
The key to this film is the chemistry between Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. They cut their teeth on “Romancing the Stone” with DeVito, and their nature works just as well here. Wickedly funny and expertly acted, “The War of the Roses” is a fun film with some dire consequences.
The Blu-ray comes with a commentary track with DeVito. There’s also deleted scenes, trailers, TV spots, a production gallery and the original script. Additional featurettes include “Danny DeVito and Producer James L. Brooks: Revisiting The War of the Roses,” “The Music of War of the Roses: A Conversation with Danny DeVito and Composer David Newman.”