Danny DeVito directs this black comedy about a long-married couple in the throes of divorce at the height of the materialistic 1980s, and his second feature far surpasses his first effort, THROW MOMMA FROM THE TRAIN, in style, substance, and comedic impact. Barbara and Oliver Rose were the perfect couple--he was a prominent Washington lawyer, she had a wildly successful catering business, they had a great house, great art, great cars and great kids. But when Barbara begins to wonder about life without Oliver, she likes what she sees and sues for divorce; unfortunately, neither of them likes the prospect of life without their opulent home, and war is waged to determine who will keep it. The pair become increasingly outlandish in their battle tactics, moving from cunning to cruel to outright surreal, and DeVito's camera echoes this mood with its unorthodox angles and movement. DeVito himself narrates the action as Oliver Rose's lawyer, and Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas prove once again their chemistry as a passionately antagonistic couple (ROMANCING THE STONE, JEWEL OF THE NILE).
Danny DeVito - American actor/director, HOFFA (1992)
Danny De Vito - American actor/director, HOFFA (1992)
Heather Fairfield - Actress
Kathleen Turner - American Actress
Sean Astin - Actor, THE GOONIES, RUDY
David Newman - Composer, SERENITY (2005)
Michael Douglas - Actor, THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO/WALL STREET
A black comedy about a wealthy couple embroiled in a bitter divorce. Oliver Rose is a successful lawyer; his wife Barbara has been a committed homemaker with a flair for interior decorating. Together they created a home that looks like something off the pages of "House Beautiful." But after their two kids grow up and leave home, Barbara decides that their perfect marriage isn't so perfect anymore and wants out. Unable to reach an agreement about who will keep the house and everything in it, the Roses become engaged in a vicious battle to the death over the possession of their material objects.
Estimated budget $30 million. Filmed in Panavision and DeLuxe color in Los Angeles, California and Coupeville, Washington. Began shooting March 21, 1989; complete shooting June 1989. Released in the USA December 8, 1989. Shown at the Berlin Film Festival (in competition) February 9-20, 1990. Released on video June 28, 1990. Additional cast: Trenton Teigen (Josh at 10) and Bethany McKinney (Carolyn at 10). Popeye played Bennie the Dog and Tyler played Kitty-Kitty the Cat. Additional music credits: "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" performed by the Sesame Street Cast and arranged by Sam Pottle. Body doubles creation for Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner by Thomas R. Burman and Bari Dreiband-Burman. Body makeup by Gina Rylander. Rated BBFC 15 by the British Board of Film Classification. The Special Edition Laserdisc includes an introduction and commentary by Danny DeVito, additional scenes deleted from the theatrical release, the original theatrical trailer, the film's script, production designs and stills, posters, and props.
"...A deliriously mean-spirited free-for-all....[Turner and Douglas are at their] comic best when being as awful as both are required to be here..." - 12/08/1989 New York Times, p.C16
"...Biting and vicious....It's also thoughtful, laceratingly funny and bravely true to its own black-and-blue comic vision..." - 12/08/1989 Los Angeles Times, p.C1
4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he two leads battle with such gusto that it's fun to be sitting at ringside..." - 03/01/2013 Total Film