The War of the Roses (1989) Script

You have some valid reasons for wanting a divorce.

Excuse me.

My sinuses are very sensitive to irritants.


In the past five months, I think I've breathed freely with both sides working maybe a week, total.

I got to cut this out.

It's going to kill me.

I hadn't smoked for 13 years.

I kept the last cigarette from my last pack.

I said, "If I never smoke this one cigarette, "I'll never smoke again. Period."

13 years I kept that cigarette.


I had this little case made for it.


13 years,

and then, one Thursday afternoon, Barbara came to see me.

And when she left...

You know where I am if you change your mind.

Barbara and Oliver Rose.

You'd have heard of them, except I kept what happened out of the papers.

I think you should hear the story, though.

It might matter to you.

I won't start the clock yet.

My fee is $450 an hour.

When a man who makes $450 an hour wants to tell you something for free, you should listen.

They met great.

They agreed on that.

But the way I saw it, the poor bastards never had a chance.

It was the final day of the season in Nantucket.

A nor'easter was blowing the last of the tourists off the island.

The next item up for bid is an exquisite Japanese carving, circa 1700, a rare relief of a Shinto goddess very richly detailed.

The intricacy of...


I have $10 from the premature young man in the gray raincoat.

Do I hear 15?


$11. Ladies and gentlemen, please, do I hear 15?



$20. I have $20, ladies and gentlemen.

Do I hear 25 for this exceptionally exotic item?



$31. All right, I have $31, ladies and gentlemen.

Is this my final offer?

Ladies and gentlemen, 31 going once...


$40! 40. Do I hear 45?

50. 5-0.

$50! I have $50. Do I hear 60?

$50 going once, going twice...

Sold, to the pretty lady in the white sweater.

You know how much it's worth?

It doesn't matter because I'm not going to sell it.


Well, I guess I have a good eye.

I got to catch the last ferry.

Wait a minute. Let me carry that for you.

Here. Put this on.

Oh! Thanks.

I love the rain.

I love it, too.

I know what you're thinking, "Harvard Law. Woo, woo, woo."

But I got a scholarship.

I'm not rich or anything.

Brilliant. What about you?

I'm not rich or brilliant.

Where are you going to school?

Madison. I got a scholarship, too, gymnastics.

I don't know, though. My body's getting kind of big.

It looks, um...

Well, you see, it's like a pendulum.

The longer it is, the slower you move.

Now my vaults and my tumbling just aren't what they used to be.

My strength moves are still good.

Your strength moves?

I love Nantucket.

Oh, I'm going to miss the ferry.

Thanks for walking me. Bye.

Wait a minute. What's your name?



Wait a second. I've got a great idea.

Uh! Oh! Uh!

Oh! Uh! Whoa!

Oh! Oh!

Uh, uh, uh.

Uh. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Oh. Oh.

Never, never, never apologize for being multiorgasmic.

I honestly didn't know I was.

Oh, bless you.

Bless you.

Oh, bless you.


If we end up together, then this is the most romantic day of my whole life, and if we don't, then I'm a complete slut.

This is a story we're going to tell our grandchildren.



Ha ha ha!


It's the return of the Bald Avenger.

...a merry Christmas and a happy new year We wish you a merry Christmas From Sesame Street OK. That's the sixth time. Now, turn it off, honey.

Merry Christmas, Bert.


Daddy. Daddy.

Honey, give me those papers.

Say please.



Up in there behind the party.

Where are they?

I don't got.

Nice try.


Ah-ha ha!




Mom's home.

Get over here.

I owe you a squeezie.

Ooh! Up we go.

Come on, you.


All right.

Hi, honey.

Yeah. Now, you go in that chair.

Got it?

Well, you're going to go in this one right here.

Uh! Hey. Ohh!

I got you...

That's for me?

It's green for you.

Oh, thanks.

And it's red for you.

I really don't think it's such a good idea to give them sweets like that.

No. It is.

Actually, I read that kids who are deprived of sweets and candies all the time, they get obsessed by it, and they turn out to be obese.

But the little kids who get it all the time, it's no big deal, and they turn out normal.

And here.

Being a waitress on Christmas Eve is very profitable.

What do you think, guys?



What do you think?


Looks like tinfoil.

Oh, you're right. It doesn't make it.

I'll learn.

What do you say we go for a walk?

I got to finish this brief.

Oh, just a quick stroll. Come on. Please.

It's freezing outside. It's snowing.

Yes, and I'm still asking you to take a walk. Why? Huh?

Where are we going?

Just to the corner.

Barbara, I have work to do.

I can't be walking around here in the snow.


OK, we're at the corner.

So what do you want to do now, walk back?

No. I want to go for a ride in your car.

I don't have a car...

You got me a Morgan?


Oh ho ho!

I don't believe it! A Morgan!

A Morgan.

The cook's brother brought it over from England.

It's got a little bit of rust.

We'll do some work on it.

How much did you pay for it?

It's a Christmas present. I used my money.

Your money's our money. Can we afford this?

You are going to be such a huge success.

This may be our last opportunity to worry about spending money.

Come on, here. Get in.

It's a right-hand drive.

Well, are you happy?

I'm more than happy. I'm way past happy.

I'm married.

Ha ha ha!

Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it?

And it was.

My father used to say, "There are four things that tell the world who a man is, "his house, his car, his wife, and his shoes."

Oliver didn't have the house yet, but he was definitely moving up in the world.

He'd only been with the firm six months when he decided to have the senior partners over to his new apartment for dinner.

He had his eye on the future.

So did I.

Pretty lady lovely lady Hmm hmm hmm hmm May I have this dance with you?

Ah, what a night!

Elke, Elke, wait a minute.

We're eating with elderly people now.

Keep that closed.

Where you been? Come on up.

Oliver, this is Elke. Elke, this is Oliver.


Come on. Come on.

Here is to Oliver and Gavin for a job well done on Kentucky v. Brunswick Coal.

Hear, hear.

Hell of a litigation.

Thank you.

I couldn't have done it without you, Oliver.

This man has a face juries can't help but believe.

Gavin told the state attorney general that if he didn't settle, the next election he'd be running as a gelding.

Well, let's drink up.

Ah, yes.

Good night, Mom.

Oh, good night, sweethearts.

Um, Mom...


Can I take some more dessert to our room?

OK, time for bed. Let's go.

Guess not.


Kiss Daddy.

Good night, sweetheart.

Good night.

Good night, buddy.

Good night, Dad.

Sleep well.

I used to be chubby as a kid. Yeah.

Let's eat.




Oh, my!

Whatever flavor is this?

No, don't tell me. Uh...

Let me think, now. Ummm...

It isn't apples.

You make something with apples, don't you, dear?

No, unless you mean baked apples.


No. Wait a minute. Um...

This is a very special taste.


It isn't pears.


Um, fresh fig with, uh, a little cognac.


I never would have thought of figs.

I never would have guessed.


It's fantastic, isn't it, Elke?


It's absolutely spectacular.

Mrs. Marshall, more wine?


Your crystal is lovely.

Thank you.

It's not Waterford.


Then we are paying our associates too much.

Actually, we got it quite reasonably.

It's, uh, it's kind of an interesting story.

Why don't you tell it, Barb?

Well, we were in Paris...

It was our fifth anniversary.

We'd just had lunch in this wonderful little place in the market district called the Pas de Cochon.

Pied de Cochon.

Thanks. We were wandering around, and we came upon the Rue de Paradis where the Baccarat has its factory and museum.

Of course I didn't know anything about this before I met Oliver.

I mean, my mother bought her glasses at the A&P.

You know, the kind with the raised flowers that always chipped off after a couple weeks, and they were always yellow, too, remember?

Heh heh heh.

Anyway, here we were in this immense room filled with everything Baccarat had ever made.

A field of crystal.

It was so, so pretty.

I mean, I felt...

Whatever the word.

And suddenly, from the next room, we heard the sound of glass breaking.

Well, I looked at Oliver, and Oliver looked at me, and then... Oh. Ye... No.

Well, before that, there was this big black limousine out on the street... Now, this is important.

Well, actually, before the limousine...

To make a long story short, a wealthy French couple had ordered a special design for their anniversary.

By the time it was ready, they were getting a divorce.

The woman had smashed her half, and I convinced the man to sell us his half cheap just to spite her.

Heh heh heh heh!

And, uh, that's our Baccarat story.

I think everybody had a great time, don't you?

To make a long story short, no.

I'm sorry. You were just rambling on.

Well, then, tell your own story next time.

You care so desperately what everybody thinks, fuck face.

They're my bosses.

They're Gavin's bosses, too.

It didn't stop him from getting a foot job all through dinner.

Gavin doesn't care about making partner.

He doesn't have a wife and kids.

I do.

You want to keep living in this apartment?

Because you do not buy a house on an associate's salary.

At least not the kind of house that we want.

OK, I care what they think.

I care, all right? I care.

Shoot me.

And that phony laugh.

"Heh heh heh heh."

That was a genuine laugh.

Heh heh heh heh.

OK, all right, all right. Maybe I overdid it.

I was just trying to keep things going.

God. I hope they didn't notice what a jerk I am.

They never seem to.

"Dear homeowner, "I love your house!

"If you ever consider selling, "please contact me.

"Barbara Rose."

Mom! I'm going to be late for practice!

You've been doing this for a year, and nobody's called.

This is a great house.

I love this house.

It's a waste of time!

I'll bet I get this house. Five bucks.

Five bucks.



Oh, I was just leaving a note.

How kind.

Please, won't you come in?

All right.


I don't believe we've met.

Barbara Rose.

I'm Maureen.

I don't remember Mother mentioning you, but she had so many friends.


Oh, I'm very sorry.

Thank you. She went peacefully.

What am I going to do with this old place?

I just can't bear to put it up for sale and have a bunch of strangers tromping through it.

If I could just find someone who would love it as much as Mom did.

It's more important to me than whatever money we get for it.

If you hear of anybody who might...

Can we go up and pick our rooms?

We can do whatever we want. This is our house.

Who gets the first pick?

Oh, don't get scared.

We'll do it together.

I just feel kind of strange.

I mean, this house is so beautiful, and we live here.

Is this who we are?

This is me?

I'll be home early.

Where are you going?

To work. I wish I didn't have to, but somebody's got to pay for all this.

It's Saturday.

Come on. This is a great day.

You've got the fun part.

Kitchen first.

Everything was working for the Roses.

Let me restate that.

The Roses were working for everything.

Over the next six years, Oliver dug in, made senior partner.

The kids lopped off 70, 80 pounds, and Barbara labored seven days a week to create the perfect home that Oliver always dreamed of...

Not easy for a girl who grew up drinking her milk from glasses with chipped yellow flowers.

There were a million choices, and she sweated every one of them.

She refinished all the tables herself.

It took six months to get the floors exactly right, 100 Sundays to find the perfect Staffordshire figures and plates that she put over the fireplace.

When you work that hard on something, eventually, you have to finish and face the awful question...

What's left to do?


Excuse me. You working?

Yes. Is it important?

Yes, kind of. I hope so.

Stephanie Maze called to say thank you for dinner the other night.


She said the pate I made was so good, I should think about going into business.


So I asked her if she really meant it, and she said she did, so I took a pound over to her and collected $35.

I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to make money.

You sold liver to our friends?

She paid me in cash, Oliver.

Somehow that felt different from the money I get cashing a check.

It made me feel like trading in the Volvo on one of those four-wheel drive things with big knobby tires and the 200-horsepower engine.

So I did. I'm going to pick it up tomorrow.

Thank you so much for telling me.

Uh, and you think that you need this?

I mean, the Volvo is a fine car.

I'll pay for it with my own money.

How much does it cost?

I know it was kind of crazy, but I just wanted it, OK?


So you only have to sell 700 more pounds of pate.

Maybe I will.

Maybe I'm starting a business.

But if you don't want me to, I...

No, no, no, no, no. You do it.

Do it. Do it.

I'm doing it.

Wait a minute. Wait one minute, here.

I do not understand what's the attitude.

I told you I would handle it.

That's right, and when I didn't see anything happening, I went ahead, and I set up the interview.

I would have done it.

I know, but sometimes you need a little push.

We all need a little push.

We agreed that if you were going to do this liver bit, we would need someone to take care of the house full-time, right?

Right, Oliver. Right again.

Oh, come on. Let's not argue, OK?

Just think about it for a minute!

If you don't want to interview the lady, I will send her home.

I'm only trying to make your life easier.

Somehow the thought of a stranger living in my house just seems weird, you know?

Doesn't it?

I don't mean just for us, but for you, too.

Oh, but, then, I guess you do this all the time.

Oh, no. I try this as a means of finding room and board and a little money.

I'm also attending a few classes at William and Mary College, but that won't interfere with my duties.

Oh, that's great. I'm happy for you, really.

So do I get the job?

The fact is, Susan, I don't need a live-in.

This was my husband's suggestion.

I mean, I have raised two kids on my own, and now they're about to go off to college.

They were both accepted at Harvard.

Mmm. That's a nice school, too.

Thanks. So anyway, it will just be Oliver and me here at home although I am getting going my own catering business.

But let's face it. I don't need to work, not for the money, and that does not necessarily make me one of these women who's married to a successful man and has dedicated her life to him and her children, and then finds herself desperately trying to validate herself as a human being because her children are about to leave her by studying photography or opening an art gallery or going into interior design with her husband's office, no.

I mean, I have a wonderful house crammed with beautiful things.

I did this house myself. I did a great job...

Not that I'm necessarily a slave to materialism, no, but I am proud of what I have accomplished, although, I suppose, some people would find my life disgusting.

No. Disgusting is too strong a word.

No. I would not say that many people would respect the choices that I have made although women would, women like me.

But, then, I don't care what they think because I can't stand who they are.

What I'm trying to say, Susan, is that I don't need a live-in.

Well, thanks for the interview and good luck and God bless you.

I would like you to understand that if I were to hire you, my life would probably change.

You would be this new element in the house, you see?


Let me show you where your room is.


Hey, Bennie. Dumb dog.

Here, boy.

Bennie. Come on. Let's see if he'll go for it again.



Yeah. Dumb.

Oh, the Bennie boy.

The Bennie, Bennie, Bennie boy.

Yes, he's the best boy. He's the best boy.

We love our little boy. Oh, he's a good boy.

He's a Bennie boy. We love our Bennie boy.

Yes, he's a pretty dog.

Rose residence.

Susan, is that for me?

It's for Josh.

Are you expecting a call?

Jason Larrabee said he'd call to confirm lunch tomorrow.

I'm trying to land him as a client.

The word around town is he's up for a cabinet post.

I wish he'd call.

He will.

Listen, did you get a chance to look over that contract for me?

What contract?

On the concert luncheon I'm doing.

Oh, yeah. No, but I'll read it this weekend.


No. No, not OK.

I have to sign it tomorrow, which is why I gave it to you last week, but it's probably fine.

Well, I'll read it now.

Oh, no, don't bother.

No. Get it.


What? What is it?

It's a fly. Where'd it go?

On the fridge.

Stay upwind of him.

Aha! How about that?

Not bad, huh?

I admire your technique.

Hello? Oh, Mr. Larrabee.

Hi. How are you? No, no, it's not too late.

Can you hang on just one second while I use the other phone? Thank you.

Yes, sir. I'm looking forward to that, too, myself.

No, no. Of course you're not bothering me.

Lawyers, we never sleep.

You know, I'm available to you, sir, 24 hours a...

Who left all the appliances on in the kitchen?

It sounds like who-knows-what going on down there.

I must have hit a couple of switches when I was cleaning up.

You know how that can happen.

I got great news.

Lunch is on tomorrow with Larrabee.

I'm going to meet him at his club in Philadelphia.

He's mine.

Look how crazy you are about yourself right now.

I'm sorry.

Don't apologize.

I kind of live with the assumption that all guys owe an apology to the women that they live with.

Oh, you're so full of shit.

So where's that little contract of yours?

Maybe I can up your price, huh?

Where is it?

I'm sure it's all right.

My fee's going up.

Better get me while you can afford me.

I don't want you to read it.

Let me have it.

Now I got you, and I'm not going to let you get away.

Uh! Let me go.

Let me go. Uh!

Let go of me. Let go. Uh! Uh!

Oh. Oh.

Oh, Jesus.

Ooh. Ooh. Ooh.


You think you're pretty strong, don't you?

What the hell is wrong with you?

If you're with a woman for any length of time, eventually you'll ask her that question.

If she doesn't answer, that's trouble, and when trouble begins, it comes at you from directions you'd never expect.

Oliver was a sitting duck.

I think you're going to be very well served by our firm, especially if the rumors around town are true.

Well, there may be a Senate confirmation hearing in my future.

We could definitely be of help with that.

Yes. Waiter? Uh! Ooh!

What's the matter?

Nothing, I'm fine. Could I have some more coffee, please?

Certainly, sir.

Regarding your Senate confirmation, it may not be a bad idea for us to have your personal asset liability state...

Oh. Ooh.


Do you think you're having a heart attack?


Call an ambulance.

Wipe that stuff off his chin, Heath.

Hang in there, Oliver.

Call my wife.

You're doing just fine.

Somebody called down for the defibrillator.

Right here.

Gerald, you're going to take it?

How's it going?

You may be the only person I'm doing better than.

My wife stabbed me in the stomach.

With a nail file this time.

She's training to be a manicurist.

They make good money, you know.

I'm trying to get a doctor for you, baby.

They always feel bad after it.

Mr. Rose?

I'm Dr. Gordon. This is my associate.

Dr. Hillerman. Jason Larrabee called us in.

How are his vital signs?

We were here first.

We'll be with you in just a moment.

Madge, take it easy.

Can't you see the guy's dying over here?

Did someone call my wife?


I need to write her a note in case she doesn't get here in time.

Let's get him to C.I.C.U.

I'll get the pen back once we get up there.

Is my wife here?

I don't think so.

Get me some pictures, upper G. I.

You're going to have to swallow some barium, but you'll like it. It's peppermint flavored.

I don't think that there's anything more important than the hors d'oeuvres.

That's where people will make their first judgment of the food.

There's an urgent phone call for you.



Oh, God. Oh, my God.

All right. All right. I'm leaving right now.

My husband's had a heart attack.

Oh, that happens to my mother like this.

Don't worry. Your luncheon's going to be terrific.

I promise. Everything's just going to be great.

The X-rays turned up an esophageal tear, commonly known as a hiatal hernia, right there.

The pain symptoms are almost identical to angina.

Stress, coffee, spicy foods, gas.

Your nerve endings get irritated, and, well, you know what that feels like...

Not pleasant, but not fatal.

Could you get this hiatal hernia, say, by being squeezed between someone's legs?


So I'm not going to die?

Eventually, but not today.

Ha ha ha!

Thank you.

You can wait right here.

Thank you.

Oliver, you're alive.

Yeah, it was something else.

It wasn't the heart. It was a rip, a tear.

You're alive!


So what are you going to do?

I'm waiting for Barbara to pick me up.

I'll wait with you.


OK. Think we can get that nurse to come back here with a bottle of musk oil?

Ha ha ha!

She should be here any minute.


Stuffy in these places.

I got us enough booze for the whole trip.


I couldn't remember whether you wanted a twist or you didn't want a twist, so I got you some just in case.

Thank you, Gavin.


All those lives going on out there, people we'll never meet, experiencing things we'll never know.

We can't know.

In your own life, by this point, you think you know what's gonna be, but, you don't know.

You don't know.

It's always just when you think you got it figured out, when, bingo, something comes along and knocks you right on your ass.

Why do you think Barbara didn't come to the hospital?

I don't know.

She probably had a good reason.

How you doing?

Come here, sweetheart.

Where is everybody, huh?

I guess you're the only one who gives a damn about me in this family.

Oliver, you don't know how happy I am to see you.


You didn't come to the hospital.

No. No. Well, I called, and, well, everything seemed to be under control.

I just... I didn't want to disturb you.

Disturb me?

Well, I wasn't doing much, just dying.

Oliver, you weren't dying.

You didn't even call.

Of course I did. I called. I talked to someone.

Not to me.

Well, I talked to a nurse, and she said that you weren't dying.

Well, I thought I was dying.

I wrote you a note in case you didn't get there in time.

I can't read your handwriting.

I was on a gurney being rushed to intensive care under excruciating pain.

It says...

"My love, by the time you receive this, "I may be gone.

"My life was..." Fun?

"...full beyond my dreams.

"All I have and all I am, I owe to you.

"You gave me courage to surpass what I know I am, "the strength to..."

Oh, this is where I had a spasm, yeah.

I can't read it, but the next line says, "I lie here, feeling my life ebb away, "and I cling to your image.

"I will take you with me to eternity.

"I cherish you.

"I thank merciful God for you."

I didn't have the strength to sign it.

Well, I'm sure they would have told me who it was from.

I can't believe you didn't call us at school, Mother.

I didn't see any point in alarming you until there was something to be alarmed about.

Your mother didn't want to disturb anybody today.

Yeah, well, you still should have called.

You should have.

I'm sure your mother didn't want to worry you needlessly.

The important thing is, your father is alive.

We've always been a family that communicated.

If anything important happens, everyone should know about it.

That's the rule.

Only you Can make all this world seem right Only you and you alone Can thrill me like you do

And fill my heart with love For only you Only you...

What's going on? What?

I'm very upset.

It's 3:00 in the morning.

Turn the television off.

I wasn't exactly sure why I didn't go to the hospital, but now I think I know.

I'd just like to put today behind us, OK?


I was going to drive to the hospital, but I knew you were OK because I never think anything really terrible could happen to me or the kids or you, and I was getting on the expressway, and suddenly I had this very strong feeling that you were dead.

And I knew what it would feel like to be alone in this house, to not have you in my life, and I got so scared, I had to pull over.


You don't have to be scared anymore.

I got scared because I felt happy.

You were happy because I was dead?

I was happy to be free, like a weight had been lifted.

Like a weight had been lifted?


So how am I supposed to respond?

You tell me you wished I was dead?

I thought it was important.

I think you owe me an apology, Barbara.

If you have something to say, I'd like to hear it.

I want a divorce.

No, you don't.

You can't have one.

I've thought about this a lot.

I really don't want to be married to you anymore.

Why do you want a divorce?

Did I do something? Did I not do something?

I can't give you specifics, Oliver.

Well, try!

I don't want to try!

Is there somebody else? Another man?


A woman?

You wish.

I mean, I should be the one trying to get the divorce.

I'm the one rushed to the hospital suffering from this severe...


You're such an expert, aren't you? Making me look like a jerk.

OK. OK, I'm sorry.

I'm the bad person. Let's just blame me for this.

No. No. I think I need... I think you owe me, after this many pretty god damn good years of marriage, a solid reason.

I work my ass off to make enough money to provide you with a good life, and you owe me a reason that makes sense, so let's hear it.

Come on. Let's hear it. Let's hear it!

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.

Come on. Smash my face.

Come on. You want to smash my face?

Next time, I hit back.

And you'd better get yourself a damn good lawyer.

The best your money can buy.

What does she want?

Child support.

I've always taken care of my kids.

And they will be 18 in one year, which makes it nice for you.

What about alimony?

Barbara, against my advice, waives alimony.

I'm making money with my business.

I'm getting a lot of referrals. I can support myself.

I'm a lucky guy.

My client is being more than fair, Mr. Rose.

She's waived alimony.

She's willing to waive her rights against your law practice in exchange for the house and all of its contents except your shaving gear and... His clothing?

Everything I made went into that house.

I found that house.

Every piece of furniture is where it is because I decided to put it there. That is my house.

If your client has finished yammering, you should explain to her that a wife does not automatically get the house.

I thought you told her that she was entitled to anything and everything.

I told her what?

Yes. Here it is.

I quote. "My love, "by the time you..." Boy, what a handwriting.

"By the time you receive this, "I may be gone."

Uh, blah, blah, blah.

"All I am and all I have I owe to you."

You wrote this, Mr. Rose?

Excuse me, Mr. Thurmont, you tiny, little, wormlike, infinitesimal prick, could I have a word with my wife, please?


If this is a who-can-sink-lowest-fastest contest, you won.

By showing him my letter, you have sunk below the deepest layer of prehistoric frog shit at the bottom of a New Jersey scum swamp.

I may have let you have the house, but now you'll never get it.

You will never get that house.

Do you understand?

You will never get that house.

We'll see.

Yeah. We'll see.

Maybe I shouldn't have let you see that letter.

Oh, dear girl, by the time this is all over, you'll think of today as one of your lighter moments.

What do you call 500 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

An excellent start.

I used to resent jokes like that.

Now I see them as simple truths.



Honey, I can't talk right now. I'm with a client.

Love you. Miss you. Want you.


I recently married.

Which is the last thing I ever thought I'd do after what happened to the Roses.

When it comes to women, I hope I'm a better man now than I was.

I know I'm a better lawyer when it comes to divorce.

I'll never make another mistake like I made with Oliver.

Let's just concentrate on the job at hand.

She wants the house. You want the house.

I mean, she's not being inconvenienced.

I'm the one who's living in a hotel room.

Not for long.

She claims she found the house.

She did find the house. Right?

Yes, she did, but that's not the point.

She said she made it what it is.

She didn't.

Look, I'm not keeping score, but if I were keeping score, it'd be about 83 to 6, my favor.

All the really good stuff, those wonderful Staffordshire dogs...

In fact, most of the Staffordshires I found.

And that Art Deco rug, and even that gray stove in the kitchen.

She never would have bought it if I hadn't pushed her.


Shoes. That's what she's good at buying.

I got to have shelves put in the closet, or she'd have the god damn things shoved all over.

Here we go. You're going to love this.

Civil code title 16904, section C.

I used this once for a freebie divorce I did for my cousin Paulie.

Total loser.


"The purposes of subsections I and II, of paragraphs A and B..."

Hey, skip down here to...

"Parties who have pursued separate lives..."

"Parties who have pursued separate lives, "sharing neither bed nor board shall be deemed to have lived

"separate and apart from one another, "even though they reside under the same roof."

Even though they reside under the same roof?

Yeah. The law was put on the books for poor people, folks who couldn't afford separate residences during their divorce, but we can use it, too.

That means I can move back in.

If your divorce is settled in court, it shows that you're committed to the property, plus you can see she doesn't start selling off the assets.

And I can work on her, get her to fold on this house thing.

No. No, Oliver, you don't even deal with her.

You avoid her.

Women can be a lot meaner than we give them credit for.

Never underestimate her as an adversary.

Don't even talk to her.

No, I won't. Don't worry about me.

Gavin, thank you.

All right.

All right. Go on. Go home.

This is the stupidest thing you've ever done.

Second stupidest.

You can't stay here.

The law says I can. Title 16904, section C.

Look it up, tootsie pie.

Fa la la la la la la la la

'Tis the season to be jolly Fa la la la la la la la la Don we now our gay apparel OK, Mom, you're on.

Troll the ancient...

Wait. Let me see that bag.

Is that what you're going to put on top?

Yes, it is.

Fine. Josh, plug it in, please.

It's a short.

It's not a short. One of the ornaments is touching the sockets.


You take care of it, Oliver.

Come on, it's Christmas time.

Let's get festive.

I have to go out.

I got stuff I got to do in my room.


Oh, God. My house is on fire!

Mine, too, babe.

Really, you idiot!

Wait up, babe!

Oh, my God!

Oh, my... Do something!



Fire! Dad!

Call the police!

I'll get the extinguisher!

991. 999.


Oh, my God!

Stay out of the way!

Coming through!

"1, store in a cool place.

"2, hold upright. Pull pin out." OK.

"3, stand back 8 feet. Aim away from face."

Dad, hurry! All right! OK!

OK! All right!

The curtain!

It's over.

Thank God I was here.

This whole house could have gone up.

OK, OK. I get a sponge and start cleaning up.

Maybe a rake or a bulldozer.

It might not have been the lights.

You always know.

Rather than argue about who supposedly did what, I'd like to reach some accord. Time is passing.

I'd love to be done with this, too, Oliver.

Right. And if we leave the settlement up to the court, the lawyers, they get everything, so I've come up with a fair solution.

You want to hear it? Yes.

Now, I understand your point of view.

You've invested 18 years of your life in this marriage.

That's worth a lot. A tremendous amount...


How did you arrive at that number?

Fairly. You do approximately the same things as Susan.

No. She goes to college. She should make more than me.

Barbara, let me finish.

There is no comparison whatsoever between what she does...

Her salary is a base, so I doubled it.

And that wasn't enough, and then I tripled it, and that's how I came up with this figure...

$490,633, approximately.

I shall give you that in cash.

It's not going to be easy.

It's going to be harder than hell is what it is, but I'm going to do it.

You just have to, you know, agree to give up the house.

You owe me, Barbara.

You've gotten a hell of a lot more out of knowing me than I've gotten out of knowing you.

I'm not even going to ask you what that means.

I am the one who found this house. I bought everything in it.

With my money! It's a lot easier to spend it than it is to make it, honey buns!

You might not have made it if not for me, sweet cakes!

You weren't even multiorgasmic before you met me, were you?

You really expect me to keep on reassuring you sexually even now, when we disgust each other?

Don't let this bother you.

It's all going to work out.

The red areas are hers.

The yellow areas are mine.

Green is neutral.

The kitchen was difficult, but Barbara came up with the idea of time allotments.

This seems rational to you both?


Look, Oliver, my father used to say that a man could never outdo a woman when it came to love or revenge.

Why don't you just let her have the house?

There are other houses. There are other women.

No, no, Gavino. I'm going to win because I've got her to accept the ground rules.

Oliver, there is no winning in this.

There's only degrees of losing.

I got more square footage.

Sorry to disturb you, but I was wondering if I could borrow a sleeping tablet.

Did Oliver send you for it?

No. Actually, no.

Well, all right. You got me there, which is good because I'm uncomfortable with the charade.

It's nice to see somebody still caring for somebody in this house.

Good night, Susan.

So there will be no pills?

Oh, kitty.

Kitty, wait.

Wait, kitty kitty...

Do you want me to call around first to find an open drugstore?

I'll find one.

Should I come?

It's up to you.

These are my favorite kind of cars.

It's a Morgan.

Of course.

It's cozy.

What was that?

A bump of some sort.

Oh, kitty. Oh, my God.

Look, why don't you go to the house and find a large Ziploc bag?



Oh, kitty.

Kitty kitty kitty.

So much for the nine lives myth.


Here, kitty. Here, kitty kitty.


Here, kitty kitty.

Here, puss, puss, puss, puss, puss!

Here, puss, puss, puss, puss!


Here, kitty kitty!

Here, kitty kitty, kitty kitty!

Have you seen my cat?

Are you talking to me?

Here, kitty kitty.

Come on, kitty.

Here, puss, puss, puss, puss, puss.

Where are you, kitty? Come on.

Here, kitty kitty kitty.

Come on, kitty kitty kitty, come on.

What did you do with my cat?

Close the door. You're letting the heat out.

I know something happened.

Now, instead of playing this game, what happened?

You killed your cat, Barbara.



Yes. One damn Dalmane, and your kitty would be alive.

I had to get up in the middle of the night looking for Sominex.

I backed out the driveway...

That supposed to scare me?

If you're looking for trouble, Barbara, you found it!

Oh, God.


What do you expect?

You killed my cat. You're making me nuts, Oliver.

Will you, please? I'm asking you to leave.

No. It's my house, and I'm going to stay.


Frankly, I'm concerned about you, Oliver.

You look haggard.

Ahh! I feel great.

Maybe I'll take a little time off after the Larrabee confirmation hearings.

Why don't you take a little time before?

Look, it's vital to the firm this comes off without a hitch.

I want you at your best.

I'm at my best.

I won't let you down.

I'm in fantastic shape.

I thank you so much for caring.

Mr. D'Amato. Yeah.

There's someone in your office.


Use words, Maryanne.

Mrs. Rose.

I didn't think I should leave her in the reception area, I mean, what with all the, uh, you know.

Yeah, I know.

The, um...

Yeah, I know.


You know, you really shouldn't be here because it might be viewed by some as unethical.

Well, I am here, ethical or not.

You don't mind if I tape this, just so no one gets confused about what was said?

What's on your mind?

Well, since you're the one who advised Oliver to move back in, I thought you would advise him to move out.

Why? It sounds like you two have things worked out, with the red areas and the green areas.

Gavin, ever since this thing started, I've had trouble sleeping.

Most mornings I wake up sobbing.

I'm sorry. That's shitty.

But this morning I woke up screaming, and I couldn't stop.

I need this to end.

This has to end.

Well, I suggested selling the house...



You both seem to agree on that.


I don't have much money, but I could pay you.

That would be illegal.

Besides money...

Oh, what would it take to get you to help me, Gavin?

Come on, put your shoes on, Barbara.

I haven't been into feet since '82.

Have you ever made angry love?

Is there any other way? Hey, hey, hey, hey.


Stop it!

This is ridiculous. Button up.

You want to settle this?

Let's all sit down and work it out, find some compromise.

There is no compromise.

Then I can't help you.

Worth a shot.

You know where I am if you change your mind.

Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if I had taken her offer.

But I didn't.

I should have seen her toes in the pit of my crotch as a cry for help.

Stinking bitch. Dumb bastard.

Slut. Scum.

Filth. Faggot!

Morning, Susan.


I made you some sandwiches for the trip.

I'm not really that hungry.

You may be hungry later.

Why don't you wrap these up?

I feel like there's some things I should tell you.

I mean, you're going off to college.

You told me you love me.

Yes, I do love you.

And about drugs, don't do them, and sex, don't catch anything.

What else is there?

Just... About women.

Don't be led by your emotions.

Look, just because you screwed up doesn't mean I'm going to, so don't try to put your shit off on me, all right?


Don't leave like this.

I'm pissed at you.

So what do you want to do about it?

You want to take a swing at me?

Is that going to make you feel better?

Then go ahead.

So what are you and Dad going to do to each other once we're not around?

Don't be silly.

Your father and I need some time alone to work things out.

By the time summer school starts, we'll have it all settled.

And then I'll make a celebration dinner, and I'll bring it up, or you can come here.

We'll work it out.

Do you promise?


You know I love you.


My sweet girl.

So, I'll be back for my things.

I will be thinking the best for you.

So long.

Take care, Susan.


You have a great time, kids.

Don't worry about us.


Come here, Bennie.

At 15, I became an evolutionist, and it all became clear.

We came from mud, and after 3.8 billion years of evolution, at our core is still mud.

Nobody can be a divorce lawyer and doubt that.

We can nail her.

She's having a black-tie dinner at the house at 8:00 tonight.

The food critic from the Post called to confirm the time.

And look at this.

She sent me this phony exterminator's notice saying the house needs to be gassed for termites so I'd stay away.

She can have dinner parties.

She lied about the exterminator.

She can lie.

She took two of my Staffordshire figures.

Any dealer would give you at least $1,000 for them.

She is financing her dinner with my things.

I want to file criminal charges, and I want her thrown in jail.

Unless you have proof, there aren't grounds.

Wait a minute. Whose side are you on, anyway?

Did she get to you, huh?

Did you bang her?

Not at all.

She was great.

She was a gymnast.

She was?


Look, Oliver...

I lost my train of thought.

Come on, Gavin, let's have her arrested.

I don't think you should stay in the house.

I want to push to sell the house and divide the proceeds.

No. You're selling me out.

You don't think I got the guts to go to the mat.

You don't want to go to this mat, Oliver.

Look, I respect you, Oliver.

You're a professional. I'm a professional.

As a professional and a friend, I'm telling you, one way or another, you're going to lose.

Give it up.

I understand what you're saying.

You're fired.

Now, some of the dishes tonight are new.

Some I've, no doubt, made for you before, but they are all my favorite dishes, as you are all my favorite clients.

Hello, darling. Sorry I'm late.

Well, I guess I'd better not sit too close to anybody because I have a bit of a cold.



Oh! Oh!

Now I guess I'll go in and piss on the fish.


Oliver, these people are my clients.

You are messing with my business.

I have the food editor from the Post out there.

Is everything all right?

I would never humiliate you like this.

You're not equipped to, honey.


Leaving so soon, baby doll?

A family tiff seems to be developing.

I don't know if we should leave, but I definitely advise skipping the fish course.


What... What... What are you doing?

What are you doing?

Do you see what she's doing?

Do you see that?



Get out of the car, hon.

You're going to have to kill me.

I mean it, Oliver.

You don't have the guts.

Come on. Come on!

This is absurd. It's just absurd.

OK, the gloves are off.

Look, I don't want to create a scene.

I mean, I live in this neighborhood, too.

But the gloves are off!

Chicken shit.

Your guests would have loved this.

I expected a little more imagination from you, Ollie.

Guess I'll go clean up.

Not the Staffordshires.

You love them as much as I do.



Don't you touch that.

What are you doing?

Give that to me.

Let go!

Give it to me. Uh!

Good night.




That Bermuda high-pressure system in the east is keeping hot, sticky weather in the Potomac area.

Look for a high today of around 92 degrees.

Not a good day to do strenuous exercise outdoors.

That's good advice, Morris, especially for folks with respiratory problems.

OK. Well, Sarah Murphy is standing by at the Pentagon with a report on whether women still find uniforms sexy attire for men.

So far, it's a pretty normal divorce scenario, a few bruises, some broken dishes, pissed-on fish.

But I think you should have a drink for this next part.

There are two dilemmas that rattle the human skull...

How do you hold on to someone who won't stay?

And how do you get rid of someone who won't go?

I opened a great old one to let it breathe.

You look beautiful.

I feel good.

I do, too.

I think the Larrabee confirmation hearing went very well today.

I was surprised, happily surprised by your invitation.

Thank you for the wine.

I hope it's not poisoned.

Same here.

We've made a mess of things, Oliver.

Yes, we sure have.

I want to start living a normal life again.

I do, too, Barbara.

Sitting here like this, it's hard to believe we can't be happy.

We can be happy, just not together.

I want to ask you one last time to leave.

I can't do that.

I won't.

You make so much money, Oliver.

You can buy another house.

You can replace everything.

Except you.

You may find this hard to believe, but I still love you.

I still want you.

I find it hard to believe.

I think what you can't believe is that I don't want you.

Well, I... Yeah, I have a problem with that.

I mean, I think I'm a good person as people go, and...

What can we do to patch things up?

I don't know.

Tell me.

I can't.


I don't know.

Please tell me.

Please. Just tell me...

Stop it!

I guess you don't want to talk about it.

No, I don't want to talk about it.

Oliver, if you don't get out of here now, you have no idea how far I'll go.

How far? Tell me.

Sure, we've been horrible to each other, but we had something.

We still do.

We haven't passed any point of no return.

I have.

I'm not convinced.

Nobody who makes pate this good can be all bad.

That depends on what the pate is made of.



A good dog to the last bite.

God damn you!

Jesus Christ!

I'll give you the chandelier.



Oh, shit!

You can't get out.

I'm going to find you, sweetness.

I know this house too well!

Where the hell is she?



Ooh! Ooh!

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

Ooh! Ooh!





I guess I'm on top now, huh?

And you're helpless.

I can do anything I want.

Stop it! I mean it! Stop it!

Ohh, ohh, ohh.

Oh, God. Oh, you smell so darn sweet.

Oh, oh, oh.

Oh, Barbie.

Oh, I need this, Barbie.


God, don't talk!

Don't talk!

Oh, I want to say hello to the Bald Avenger, please.

Oh, ooh!

Ohh! Ohh!

You haven't called him that in years.

Ohh! Ohh!

Ohh! Ohh! Mmm! Mmm!

Oh, Barbara!

Oh, yes!

Ohh! Ohh!

Ohh... Oh, Barbara.

Ohh, Barb...


Oh, God! Jesus!

Oh, God!

Oh! Oh!



Was it as good for you as it was for me?

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

Ooh! Ah! Ah!



Oh, what's going on here?





Oh, I'm sorry.

I thought you were Barbara.

Mr. Rose, what's going on here?

Are you OK?

I'm fine.


Listen, Susan, I'm in the middle of something now.

I really can't talk about it.

Just let me get the door for you.

Is Mrs. Rose all right?

Yes. She's fine.

Where is she? Is she OK?

You're sure she's all right?

Barbara, Susan's here.

She wants to know if you're OK.

Never better.

Thank you for dropping by, Susan.

Come outside with me, Mr. Rose.

Let's go.

Wait a minute. I forgot something.




Mr. Rose.

Mr. Rose!

Oh, no.

Oh, my God.

Mrs. Rose...

Only You Can


Ha ha ha ha!

What fresh hell is this?


Only You



I brought you a surprise.

Nah nah nah nah nah nah

You are a jerk.

Tell you what...

You say it's mine, and you can have everything in this house.


It's mine.

Ah! Ah! Oh!


Oh... Oh...

Barbara... Barbara, I'm sorry.

Are you all right? You OK?

You OK?





Well, well, well.

I'd be glad to help you in exchange for the house.


Please don't break the terrazzo floor when you land.

Oh! That's better.

I'm going to save you whether you like it or not.

That won't work.

It's too heavy. It'll pull you off.

It'll work.



Uh! Uh!





All right. All right.

I think I can swing this over to the balcony.

Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

I loosened the bolt.

I was going to drop it on you.


Oh, that's a good one.



Susan, let me stop the car first.

Thank God you're here.

I thought you'd never arrive.

They're in there, and they're over the edge.

I guess at this point, there's no reason to be anything but absolutely honest.

Through all that's happened, I always loved you.

I know.

And through all this you loved me, too, didn't you?

Get that, would you, Oliver?


No. No, no, no.

OK. We go in.


Oh, my God.



Gavin! Gavin!

Gavin, get a ladder!



I knew everything would be all right.

No! No!


Gavin! Gavin!

We're going to be all right.

You see those two wires?


Each of them can hold at least 200 pounds.


We're coming!

Oh, my God.

They're dead.

Some story, huh?

What's the moral, other than dog people should marry dog people and cat people should marry cat people?

I don't know.

Could be just this.

A civilized divorce is a contradiction in terms.

Maybe because of what happened, I've become too traditional.

Maybe it's not natural to stay married to one person for life.

My parents did it.

63 years, a few of them good.

So, look. Here it is.

We can begin.

When it comes to your wife, I'm going to urge you to be generous to the point of night sweats because the all-important thing here is to get you through this as quickly and cleanly as possible so that you can begin rebuilding your life.



you can get up and go home and try to find some shred of what you once loved about the sweetheart of your youth.

It's your life.

Take a minute.

Hi. What are you doing?

I'm coming home. Love you.