The War of the Roses (1989)

Once in a lifetime comes a motion picture that makes you feel like falling in love all over again. This is not that movie.

Blu-ray, 1h 56min
Rating: 6.8
Votes: 46126
Languages: English
Country: USA
Director: Danny DeVito
Music: David Newman

Plot outline

A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle.

Personal notes



A married couple try everything to get each other to leave the house in a vicious divorce battle. - Rob Hartill

The Roses, Barbara and Oliver, live happily as a married couple. Then she starts to wonder what life would be like without Oliver, and likes what she sees. Both want to stay in the house, and so they begin a campaign to force each other to leave. In the middle of the fighting is D'Amato, the divorce lawyer. He gets to see how far both will go to get rid of the other, and boy do they go far.. - Rob Hartill

A levelheaded lawyer, Gavin D'Amato, has a worried client sitting in his office. This client is going through a divorce, obviously his first. So to make sure this quiet unnamed man plays his cards right, Gavin tells him the story of what happened to a colleague and former client: Oliver Rose. Oliver was a fair-game law student who met Barbara, a gymnast who lived for the thrill of the moment. They both shared a love for exquisite possessions and married right away. Their differences finally caught with them after 18 years, and they ended up in a bitter divorce. But divorce was anything but a solution, as custody of their possessions escalated beyond anyone's, even Gavin's help. - Don Hoffman

It's been seventeen beautiful and prosperous years full of love and understanding for the once inseparable young lovebirds Barbara and Oliver Rose, nevertheless, now the love is gone. As a result, the couple embittered and determined to let all these years go down the drain, they desperately want out, except for one little problem: neither Oliver nor Barbara is willing to leave empty-handed. Under those circumstances, the couple is bound for an unnecessary, yet explosive and utterly catastrophic head-to-head collision, in a no-holds-barred civil war between sexes with their lavish mansion as the precious spoils of war. Without a doubt, theirs is a sad story, however, is there any marriage destined to succeed? After all, Barbara and Oliver's divorce lawyer is deeply sceptical. - Nick Riganas

As a cautionary tale, Washington DC based divorce lawyer Gavin D'Amato tells a potential new client the story of the Roses, Oliver and Barbara. The Roses fell in love at first sight when they were both poor college students - he on scholarship at Harvard Law, and she on a gymnastics scholarship at Madison - meeting by chance at an auction when they were both bidding on the same art piece. Through the early part of their marriage, they both seemed to be striving for the same thing, prestige and the image of perfection, they coming at it from two different directions. Oliver, the breadwinner, did everything he could to impress his bosses to make partner so as to make more and more money, while Barbara spent that money creating what they both considered the perfect showcase home, the house itself which she stumbled upon and bought relatively inexpensively on a white lie. In having that different focus, Barbara, after ostensibly making the house that perfect home and becoming empty nesters with their two children going off to college, realizes that she has lost any sense of herself, which she largely blames on Oliver, who in turn is oblivious to her unhappiness in his sole goal of that outward perfection and prestige, oblivious that is until she asks for a divorce. As the symbol of that prestige and perfection, both are unwilling to give up the house in the divorce settlement. Out of circumstance, both are living in the house during the divorce proceedings, with both their children, when home, and their housekeeper Susan being pawns and potential collateral damage in each doing whatever to get the other to leave and give up the house in the settlement. - Huggo