The War of the Roses (1989)

The War of the Roses (1989)

Directed by: Danny DeVito

Starring: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito

I’ve only seen a couple films that DeVito has directed, but apparently one of the things he really likes to do is have really gimmicky cinematography, and boy is this movie chock full of it. There isn’t a steady shot in this entire film, we’re always zooming it to something or circling around it or in place of one of the people… it’s seriously distracting.

A married couple (who’s last name is Rose) decide to get divorced. At least, Kathleen Turner decides to get divorced, Michael Douglas thinks he can still win her back. He uses a legal loophole to stay living in the same house as his wife, and they start fighting over things. The fighting escalates to be worse and worse, involving curios and cars and pets, nothing is safe from the total destruction caused by the Rose family’s WASPy squabbles.

The framing device of the film is that Danny DeVito (a friend of the couple) is telling some other guy who never talks the story, even to the point of specifically stating the moral of the story at the end. It’s one of my least favorite movie conventions, and the fact that the narrator is also the director just makes it even worse. Still, there are some funny moments, and you get to see Michael Douglas being crazy, and he and Turner have a really good chemistry.

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