"Like a cockfight, only containing actual cocks instead of roosters."
The War of the Roses is a funny flick. Like watching a slow motion car wreck rolling end over end along the blacktop, it's an expeience that's enjoyable not because you can relate, but because you can't. Watching these two prize arseholes tear pieces out of each other is the sort of thing that'll leave you feeling better about your own life... but then, so is an episode of Jerry Springer.Michael Douglas plays an arrogant lawyer who deserves what he gets. Kathleen Turner plays a bitchy layer's wife who deserves what she gets. Our fun is in watching them both get it.
But is it a great movie? Is this a story that had to be told? Is this the finest hour of all concerned?
Nope. Nope. Nope. It's a trainwreck. It's a playground buddy's fibula, sticking through his skin after he fell of his bike. It's your turd swirling down the S-bend of the toilet.
Put simply, War of the Roses is something so heinous, you have to watch it. You can't help it. It's there. There's Kathleen Turner offering her womanhood to Danny DeVito (who'd probably be just the right height to officially class any record of such an encounter as midget porn). There's Michael Douglas pissing in the main course. There's the German lady from Bagdad Cafe... serving no purpose whatsoever.
But what does it all mean?!
Well, my guess is we're supposed to watch this and make up our minds never to repeat it in our own lives. Thankfully, I don't have a collection of dog statuettes to throw, or a classic car to destroy, or a chandelier to swing off. Unfortunately, I don't have an ex-gymnast wife either, but you take the bad with the good.
Director De Vito also takes the easy route with the storyline, opting to narrate the whole thing rather than portraying every event on screen and letting us come to our own conclusions. De Vito's ongoing relation of the tale to a client in his law office is drawn out and distracting, not to mention completely out of pace with the rest of the film. It's like speeding to a green light and then stopping dead at the last minute as it goes red, over and over again.
Performances are fine all round, Douglas and Turner have the chemistry going on, but just when you thikn they might get a little bit human and show us that we really can feel for them, they behave like babboons and put themselves back in 'who cares' land.A very watchable movie to be sure, but not one that you necessarily need to own. Watch it one Sunday on Superstation, enjoy the spectacle and forget about it.