Home > Free Essays > Art > Film Studies > “The War of the Roses” a Film by Danny DeVito
Cite this

“The War of the Roses” a Film by Danny DeVito Essay (Movie Review)


Introduction

Directed by Danny DeVito, The War of the Roses is a masterpiece 1989 movie dealing with family conflict. The protagonists in the film are Oliver Rose and his wife, Barbara. As the movie opens, Oliver is studying law at the prestigious Harvard Law School. He meets Barbara, fall in love at the first sight, and sleep together on the same day. They finally marry; unfortunately, the marriage starts falling apart and divorce seems as the only way out of the conflict. They ultimately both die as they attempt to kill each other as the movie ends.

Degree of separation-individuation

The degree of separation-individuation in this case is taken to mean “the process by which a person becomes increasingly differentiated from a past or present relational context” (Meeus, Iedema, Maassen, & Engels, 2005, p. 90). In this case, the protagonists’ degree of separation-individuation is low. While Olive cannot understand why his wife hates him passionately, he does not separate himself from the fact that he is controlling, selfish, and indifferent towards her.

On the other side, Barbara lets the differences define her actions even after Olive repeatedly confesses of his love towards her. Even in death, Barbara rejects Olive’s love by shaking away his outstretched arm (Maslin, 1989). Such traits, according to Mattanah, Hancock, and Brand (2004), indicate a low degree of separation-individuation.

Healthy attachments

At the beginning of the movie, the young couple is in blissful healthy attachment in the name of love. However, as the reality of marriage sets in, cracks emerge thus severing the hitherto cherished attachments between Oliver and his wife, Barbara.

Introjections of pathological objects

Oliver portrays some elements of sickness throughout the movie and especially after differences start to emerge in the marriage. Instead of reasoning with his lawyer, Olive fires him and deals with matters his own way. Barbara, on the other side, is sick, perhaps from severe depression. She attempts severally to kill her husband and the two insult each other at any opportunity even before friends and clients.

Self-object needs for idealizing and mirroring

The protagonists here need to idealize and mirror some personal self-objects. Firstly, they need to ask why they married each other. Olive needs to reflect on his indifference towards his wife. He needs to determine whether his business is more important than his family as he seems too preoccupied with his work to notice the trouble brewing in his family. Similarly, Barbara has become an emotional wreck. She cannot withstand her husband as evidenced by the many attempts she tries to kill him. She needs to idealize and reflect on why she got married in the first place. She needs to think critically on her role in the marriage and the breakage of the same.

Family therapy treatment goals

Unquestionably, this family is in conflict, which is fuelled by anger, and poor communication.

The following would be the treatment goals

  1. On conflict: Appreciate, learn, and employ resolution skills
  2. On anger: Learn, increase, and exercise the capability to handle anger
  3. On poor communication: learn and employ proven effective communication skills

A successful treatment would look as outlined in the chart below

Symptom: family conflict as manifested by constant differing between Olive and Barbara
Long-term goal:The conflict will die out and the two will start living peacefully as a husband and wife
Objectives/short-term goals
  1. realize the underlying patterns of the conflict to be discussed every visit of the therapy
  2. keep off outbursts by avoiding conflicting situations
  3. stay for 5 days in a week without fighting
  4. respect one another, always
  5. stay free from physical confrontations
  6. express anger without shouting
  7. Speak clearly and concisely
  8. Spell out your feelings
Establishment date Expected completion date Date achieved
Intervention actions:
Olive and Barbara to attend the family therapy to understand conflict resolution strategies
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara
Symptom: anger as shown by the numerous outbursts every time Barbara sees Olive
Long-term goal: the anger will subside and the two will start loving each other
Objectives/ Short-term goals
  1. Walk away form evoking situations
  2. Avoid tantrums
  3. Learn at least four ways of speaking whilst angry
  4. Stay an entire day without arousing anger
  5. Embrace anger management skills
  6. Express anger without shouting
  7. Express anger productively
  8. Take a break when anger seems to set in
Establishment date Expected completion date Date achieved
Intervention actions:
Olive and Barbara to attend family therapy to develop anger management skills
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara
Symptom: poor communication skills as shown by the many times the two have failed to communicate effectively
Long-term goal: the communication skills will improve and the two will learn to express themselves effectively
Objectives/ Short-term goals
  1. Talk nicely or remain silent
  2. Express anger productively
  3. Become interested in the other person genuinely
  4. Express feelings verbally, not physically
  5. Ask interesting questions to the other party
  6. Speak clearly and concisely
  7. Master 5 ways of effective communication
  8. Express your needs verbally, without assumption
Establishment date Expected completion date Date achieved
Intervention actions:
The two to attend family therapy to learn and apply effective communication strategies
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara
Involved parties:
Olive and Barbara

Successful treatment expectations for the couple

At the end of the therapy, the couple should expect to end their conflict, subdue anger, and communicate effectively.

References

Maslin, J. (1989, December 8). The War of the Roses. The New York Times, p.48.

Mattanah, J., Hancock, G., & Brand, B. (2004). Parental attachment, separation-individuation, and college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51(2), 213-225.

Meeus, W., Iedema, J., Maassen, G., & Engels, R. (2005). Separation–individuation revisited: on the interplay of parent–adolescent relations, identity and emotional adjustment. Journal of Adolescence, 28, 89–106.

This essay on “The War of the Roses” a Film by Danny DeVito was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

301 certified writers online

GET WRITING HELP
Cite This paper

Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2020, July 7). "The War of the Roses" a Film by Danny DeVito. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-war-of-the-roses-a-film-by-danny-devito/

Work Cited

""The War of the Roses" a Film by Danny DeVito." IvyPanda, 7 July 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-war-of-the-roses-a-film-by-danny-devito/.

1. IvyPanda. ""The War of the Roses" a Film by Danny DeVito." July 7, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-war-of-the-roses-a-film-by-danny-devito/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. ""The War of the Roses" a Film by Danny DeVito." July 7, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-war-of-the-roses-a-film-by-danny-devito/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. ""The War of the Roses" a Film by Danny DeVito." July 7, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-war-of-the-roses-a-film-by-danny-devito/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) '"The War of the Roses" a Film by Danny DeVito'. 7 July.

Related papers