‘She-Devil,’ ‘War of the Roses'--the Flip Side of Marriage


There may be marriages made in heaven--at least that’s what the romantic in many of us would like to believe. However, Hollywood seems more intrigued by marriages made in hell lately. Two venomous examples have just arrived at the video store.

“The War of the Roses” (CBS/Fox, $89.98, R) depicts a ridiculously mean-spirited battle of spouses, starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito (who also directed). Although some critics inexplicably raved about this cruel comedy, and moviegoers spend $85 million to see it at theaters, you may find this unfunny film about unholy matrimony about as enjoyable as going through a divorce.

“She-Devil” (Orion, $89.98, PG-13), unfortunately, isn’t any better. Director Susan Seidelman cheapened a fine British miniseries about a wronged housewife’s revenge into a silly, ill-fitting vehicle for Meryl Streep and Roseanne Barr. Roseanne’s TV fans refused to flock to theaters to see the comedian’s first major movie part (box office take: $15 million), but they may be willing to give the video a try.


OTHER RECENT FILMS: “We’re No Angels” (Paramount, priced for rental, PG-13) typecasts Robert De Niro and Sean Penn as convicts passing themselves off as priests; the comedy will make a great double-bill with “Nuns on the Run” someday. “Gross Anatomy” (Touchstone, $89.95, PG-13) tries to do for medical school what “The Paper Chase” did for law school, but fails the exam; Matthew Modine, Christine Lahti and Daphne Zuniga star. “Ski Patrol” (RCA/Columbia, $89.95, PG) staring Martin Mull and “Nobody’s Perfect” (Media, $89.98, PG-13) are this week’s brazenly brainless comedies. “Prom Night III: The Last Kiss” (IVE, $89.95, R) is this week’s horrible horror sequel. But at least none of these try to imitate Woody Allen. “Fear, Anxiety and Depression” (MCEG, $89.95, R) does, depressingly.

VINTAGE VIDEO: Turner Home Entertainment’s “RKO Goes to War” release of nine oldies ($19.98 each) doesn’t include any top-notch films, but some of the World War II propaganda pics are worth checking out--"Days of Glory” for the unusual theme (Soviets vs. Nazis), Jacques Tourneur’s direction and a young Gregory Peck; “Joan of Paris” for more capable direction (Robert Stevenson) and a strong script about sacrifice; “Hotel Reserve” for who’s-the-spy suspense and James Mason; “Dangerous Moonlight” for its classy (if ultimately tiresome) story about a Polish pilot/concert pianist; “Great Day” for portraying British women’s contributions. The rest: “Marine Raiders,” “Ace of Aces,” “China Sky” and “Betrayal From the East.”