The War of the Roses
Time Out saysAdapted from Warren Adler's novel, this portrait of a disintegrating marriage is a riotous mix of of wicked and wince-inducing humour. After seventeen years of marital bliss, Barbara Rose (Turner) asks her lawyer husband (Douglas) for a divorce. The reason? 'Because when I watch you sleeping, when I see you eating, when I look at you now, I just want to smash you face in'. From then on, their showcase home - complete with two kids, dog and cat - becomes a battlefield. She smashes his collection of porcelain figures, he saws the heels off all her shoes; he disrupts her gourmet evening by pissing on the fish dish, she trashes his Morgan sports car. This dark comic tone, though, is lightened into a cautionary fairytale by the pro-marriage moralising of a framing device in which divorce lawyer De Vito relates the events to a prospective client. There is also a sneaking suspicion that what the couple are tearing to shreds is not so much the emotional fabric of their relationship as the soft furnishings of their home. Still, De Vito's quirky camera angles and Kathleen Turner's steely-eyed spite inject a sadistic comic-strip madness into a film that for once has the nerve to see its nastiness through.