Did it foreshadow what was to come?
War of the Roses is a movie starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. It is a black comedy about a seemingly wealthy couple whose marriage is unraveling. Material possessions become the center of a crazy and bitter divorce battle. At the time, people thought the movie was outrageous. Was it possible for anyone to act that crazy? Anyone who watched it thought it was over the top and that the characters' behavior and events were nothing like reality.
In 1989, when the movie was released, we did not really talk about divorce. Divorce was a dirty word that was reserved for the few who could not get their act together in marriage and so had to endure the bitter ending. While divorce was certainly around, it was not as prevalent as it is today. Think back to your neighborhood at the time. Perhaps there was one divorced couple every few blocks, certainly not in every second household. Children of divorce were the minority at the schools and were looked upon with a certain amount of pity. Yet here we are today with statistics reaching upwards of a 50% divorce rate and the traditional family is almost the minority in the schools.
You may wonder, "Did War of the Roses foreshadow what was to come?" For any of you who might follow or believe in some of the teachings from "The Secret" (where you create what you visualize and focus on), you might think that perhaps the creators of this movie had a glimpse into our future. Or, perhaps by creating this movie they actually affected the future.
It was over 20 years ago that I last saw this movie and I was curious to watch it again and see how my perspective had changed. What seemed outrageous back then, seems unfortunately quite commonplace today. The divorce stories we hear and see in the news are in many ways worse than they were portrayed in this movie. We judged both the characters in the movie as selfish, horrible, human beings who quite frankly deserved their bitter endings when the chandelier came crashing down on them. Unfortunately, I have personally witnessed what starts out amicable, erupts into an insane dispute within weeks. Most divorcing couples do not have the intent of the complete destruction of assets and lives when they decide to end their marriage but with a few spiteful words, affidavits and damaging legal petitions and correspondence - all goes to pot. Is there a formula to prevent this? Perhaps the best way is to not be naive. Know that everyone, regardless of how kind hearted they may be, can show a scary shadow side when in a divorce. We all have this side and are therefore vulnerable to some degree. Talk about your vulnerability openly with your soon to be ex and both commit to doing whatever you can to ensure that you move through divorce in a way that minimizes this kind of outcome and avoid large hanging chandeliers!