All that may be, but what is so great about the movie is its unrelenting viciousness once the barbs start flying. When Turner tells Douglas she had to pull off to the side of the road when she thought he might be dieing from a heart attack because "she was happy" he might pass away...wow, if that ain't a slap in the face??
It's interesting that Turner is really the hard case in this. Douglas keeps saying that he's still in love with her. He keeps softening towards Turner, and she rebuffs him with her jaw set more and more firmly. Yet, is he really in love with her, or just feels he can "get her back" to put back on his trophy case. He probably doesn't know either...combination of the two, I'd say.
The movie is keenly observed, and the lead performances are flawless,really. Our sympathies bounce back and forth, back and forth all the time. And because we're watching a glossy Hollywood movie, in the back of our minds, we're expecting it all to turn out OKAY. Sure, they say things and do things no human can be forgiven for, but what the heck...it's a movie. I congratulate all involved for having the courage of their convictions. This is a BLACK comedy in all the best ways. The final action Turner takes with Douglas, as they lay side by side, is PERFECT!! I hadn't seen the movie in years until the other day, but many of her comments and actions were burned in my memory. These two actors had such great chemistry. A reteaming, even after all these years, might be fun.
Anyway, my one gripe about the movie is the role of "narrator" that DeVito plays. He's an attorney (and partner of Douglas'), who, in his scenes WITH Douglas, is quite amusing. But he also interjects little comments from time to time as he is retelling the story of the Roses to a prospective client. The tone of these scenes is unconvincing, DeVito does a terrible job of smoking (don't ask), and they add nothing to our appreciation of the "message." Maybe the movie wasn't long enough without these scenes...but I could sure do without them.
By the way,the DVD has a montage of deleted scenes, "hosted" by DeVito. It's worth watching, right through to the end, because DeVito (and his wife, Rhea Pearlman) have a very brief but delightful "scene" at the conclusion.
This is a great movie, and a lost treasure, in many ways, because so few people gave it a try when it came out. It still holds quite true today, I think, and despite the slightly outdated fashions in the film, remains timeless.
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