Can’t believe I just saw this one last night. I catch up on movies over the Holidays. This movie is hilarious! Mrs. Rose would be me after just two years of marriage although it would be very hard for me to kick a young Michael Douglas out of bed! The following is the synopsis:
Oliver Rose (Michael Douglas), a student at Harvard Law School, meets Barbara (Kathleen Turner) at an auction, where they bid on the same antique. Oliver chats Barbara up and they become friends. When Barbara misses her ferry home, the two end up spending the night together. Eventually the two marry and have two children. Over the years, the Roses grow richer, and Barbara finds an old mansion whose owner has recently died, and purchases it. However, cracks seem to be forming in the family, such as the children being overweight from Barbara thinking that spoiling them with treats is a positive thing (the children do not get in shape until their teen years). As Oliver becomes a successful partner in his law firm, Barbara, who was a doting and loving wife early in the marriage, appears to grow restless in her life with Oliver, and begins to dislike him immensely. Oliver, for his part, cannot think what he has done to earn Barbara’s contempt, despite himself frequently belittling her and being controlling, self-centred, and generally dismissive of her needs. When Oliver believes he is suffering from myocardial infarction, (actually a hiatal hernia) the day after Barbara (who used to be a gymnast) squeezes him between her legs due to an argument, Barbara does not show any concern for his well-being or remorse, and ultimately admits that she no longer loves him and wants a divorce. Oliver accepts, but tension arises between the two when it becomes clear that Barbara wants the house and everything in it despite Oliver being entitled to at least half of everything, and Oliver becomes more determined than ever to keep the house when Barbara uses Oliver’s final love note to her (which he had written when he believed he was going to die) as evidence to reinforce the fact that the house is all hers. Barbara initially throws Oliver out of the house, but he moves back in when he discovers a loophole that allows him to stay in the house for the time being. Barbara immediately begins plotting to remove Oliver from the picture.
Oliver contacts his lawyer, Gavin, and comes up with several ideas to get Barbara to leave, even going as far as to offer her everything in the house in exchange for letting him have it, but Barbara refuses, accepting nothing less than everything. Gavin eventually tells Oliver that no matter what, he cannot win, and advises him to leave Barbara and find a new life with his own fortune, but in return, Oliver fires Gavin and takes matters into his own hands. Oliver and Barbara begin spiting and humiliating each other in every way possible, even in front of friends and potential business clients. Both begin destroying the house furnishings; the stove, furniture, Staffordshire ornaments, and plateware. Oliver accidentally runs Barbara’s cat over in the driveway while it is playing with his dog. When she finds out about this, she nails the sauna door (where Oliver had been relaxing) shut until he nearly succumbs to heatstroke and dehydration.
While the kids are away at college, Oliver eventually calms down and attempts to speak with Barbara in a civilised manner over an elegant dinner, but reaches his breaking point when Barbara serves him a paté which she implies was made from his dog (although the dog is alive and well outside). Oliver attacks Barbara, who flees into the attic to hide. Oliver boards up the house to prevent Barbara from escaping, while Barbara loosens the chandelier to drop on Oliver to kill him. Their housekeeper, Susan, sees this and discreetly contacts Gavin for help. But by the time Gavin arrives, Oliver and Barbara’s quarrel has culminated in the two hanging dangerously from the insecure chandelier. During this time, Oliver admits to Barbara that despite their hardships, he always loved her, but Barbara does not respond. Before Gavin can come inside with a ladder, the chandelier snaps and falls to the floor, and Oliver and Barbara are killed. With his final breaths, Oliver reaches his hand out to Barbara’s shoulder, and Barbara uses her last strength to hit Oliver’s hand away, revealing that she truly did not love him anymore and indeed wanted him dead.
Finishing his story, Gavin presents his client with two options: either proceed with the divorce and face a horrific bloodbath in court, or go home to his wife to settle their differences properly. The client chooses the latter, and Gavin, satisfied, packs up his office to go home to his own family.
My favorite movie lines:
Oliver Rose: You werent even multiorgasmic before you met me, were you?
Barbara Rose: You really expect me to keep on reassuring you sexually even now when we disgust each other?
Oliver Rose: I think you owe me a solid reason. I worked my ass off for you and the kids to have a nice life and you owe me a reason that makes sense. I want to hear it.
Barbara Rose: Because. When I watch you eat. When I see you asleep. When I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in.
Gavin: There are two dilemmas… that rattle the human skull. How do you hold onto someone who wont stay? And how do you get rid of someone who wont go?
[Oliver Rose lies in agony, after having his penis bitten severely by Barbara Rose]
Barbara Rose: Was it as good for you as it was for me?
I can’t wait to have this harmonious union with my fiance!
I would love to play Barbara Rose in a Theater production of this story! I have just the right person in mind for Oliver Rose too.