The Story of Us

1999

Comedy / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 5.9

Synopsis


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95 min
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95 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Moon Child 7

When I first saw the trailer for &quot;The Story of Us&quot; I thought that this film was going to be different from anything I had ever seen. I had been disillusioned by all these movies coming out that are basically the same and it was sort of refreshing to see that finally someone was trying something different. So I set my plans to include this movie--until I heard the reviews. Everyone seemed to hate this film--even my movie-loving cousin admitted she walked out in the middle because she couldn&#39;t stand it. She told me that it&#39;s more of a &quot;married person&quot; film than a film for teens like us, so I canned my idea. BIG MISTAKE! I wish I could have seen this marvelous film on the big screen--there&#39;s something about actors that makes them seem so much better when their faces are as big as you are. Not that that&#39;s necessary. After finally seeing the film (my mom bought it and &quot;forced&quot; me to watch it) it just made me realize why almost every movie now is a cliche: some people cannot appreciate truly unique art, which is why I think this movie caught a bad rap.<br/><br/>I honestly cannot say I have any first-hand experience on the subject of divorce. My parents are still married and have never really had to consider that option. I am still at that stage where marriage is a distant pit-stop on the road to my future. So why did I love this movie? It told me the truth. All of my life I have seen love depicted as an all-powerful, all-conquering thing. And I have no doubt that it is--this movie told me that too. But it also showed me that maybe being in love isn&#39;t always a perfect, happy thing. You&#39;ve got to take the good and the bad. Ben said it best when he told Katie &quot;Nobody said it was going to be easy.&quot; Finally. Finally someone tells me it&#39;s NOT going to be easy. Now some people think that this film will make you not want to get married. I feel quite the opposite, because it shows you that if you truly love your partner you can get through the tough stuff.<br/><br/>I don&#39;t understand how people can say this movie had bad acting. Were they watching the same movie I saw? Both Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer were amazing in this movie. I swear that as I watched them I completely believed they were a married couple. And the passion that went into their arguments was not &quot;overacting&quot; as I have seen it dubbed. Have you seen married people fight? It&#39;s just like that. And the good thing is the movie didn&#39;t choose sides. It just showed the arguments and the feelings behind them and left no one looking the bad guy. And Michelle Pfeiffer&#39;s beautiful performance during that closing monologue was worth watching the entire movie, even if you didn&#39;t like it. And the cinematography was brilliant. Sometimes flashbacks in movies can be risky, especially if they happen often as in this film. But the movie just seemed to flow wonderfully, and Katie&#39;s flashback in the car on the way to pick up the kids from camp is one of the most beautiful scenes I&#39;ve ever seen in a movie. It&#39;s amazing to see 15 years of marriage in 15 seconds and not feel shortchanged. That scene captured everything brilliantly. And Eric Clapton&#39;s music adds a lot to the movie. He is definitely talented, but it&#39;s also because the music seemed to capture the mood of the film. All in all, this was an amazing experience and is definitely one of the best movies I&#39;ve ever seen. It&#39;s funny, entertaining, moving, and very well-made. I&#39;d recommend it to anyone. Even if you don&#39;t like it, you will take something from it.

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Reviewed by MIKE-1280 10

Bruce Willis, Michelle Pfeiffer and a wonderful cast make this movie one of the best experiences of recent times. The story of a married couple losing each other and neither knows why; trying to hide it as the children grow through their early teens must touch the heart of most parents but this portrayal will reach right down inside you and tear you apart. I can feel the tears coming back even as I write this. This is a film of pure emotion so well written and beautifully directed with just the right balance of humour and tragedy and so insightful no one contemplating /in/out of a relationship should miss it.

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Reviewed by FlickJunkie-2 7

This is a disturbing, bittersweet romantic comedy about two people who&#39;s 15 year marriage is unraveling. Actually, it is more of a romantic tragedy than a comedy. Ben and Katie Jordan (Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer) are two mismatched people in the marriage that never should have been. He is spontaneous, romantic and impulsive, with low frustration tolerance and an explosive hair trigger temper. She is pragmatic, a compulsive perfectionist with unrealistic expectations, and a high need for control. She takes everything personally and never forgives or forgets a slight. They both blame each other for their disappointments. The pattern is clear. He doesn&#39;t meet her standards so she snipes, he explodes and then she accuses him of not listening. She then throws up every mistake he&#39;s ever made and every fault he&#39;s ever had. This goes on ad nauseam as their romantic obsession with one another continues to get the best of any sense they might have to call it quits. Like moths to a flame, they keep returning for another scorching. <br/><br/>This film is thought provoking in that it portrays marital difficulties that are all too familiar in our society. The problem is that it tries to give every problem known to man (with the exception of wife beating) to this couple and relies on the single strand of a long forgotten romance to be the only chance of keeping them together.<br/><br/>In watching the behind the scenes featurette on this film, Rob Reiner and writers Alan Zweibel and Jessie Nelson discuss how the story evolved. As it turns out, it was a montage of all their own marital problems. So the film was, in essence cathartic dumping ground for the writers and director.<br/><br/>As filmmaking, it was terrific. Rob Reiner weaves the story together expertly, creating a stark contrast between the joy of the romance and the reality of the relationship. The film was punctuated by numerous funny and sweet moments that make the viewer smile and glow with delight.<br/><br/>Michelle Pfeiffer gives a splendid performance of a very emotionally complex and neurotic character. It took a lot of courage for her to take this part because she was playing the least likeable character in the film, something of a departure for her. Bruce Willis was as good as one could have expected considering the fact that nobody was blowing anything up. Actually, he was quite good as the impulsive, childlike romantic, but when it came to the arguments and the serious displays of resentment, he played the scenes too harshly, almost commando style.<br/><br/>Reiner does good camera work and puts together some good rapid fire scenes that have impact and give great insight into the relationship. He also took the film on location in Venice to add a little romantic interlude, and somehow got Eric Clapton to write a great theme song.<br/><br/>The problem is the story. Reiner stated in the featurette that he intended this to be a realistic bittersweet look at the real problems relationships face. But he tried to do too much and made this film a grossly exaggerated caricature of a relationship in crisis. It is really &quot;The War of The Roses&quot; lite only it takes itself too seriously. No one I know who saw this could believe that this couple could possibly have stayed married for 15 weeks, no less 15 years. <br/><br/>The result is a noxious marathon of petty arguments that get under the viewers&#39; skin after a while. It is about as entertaining as watching your best friends have a niggling argument in a public restaurant. The whole thing leaves you very uncomfortable and you don&#39;t go home feeling like you&#39;ve had a nice evening.<br/><br/>So, while it succeeds as filmmaking, it fails as a film. I gave this film a 6/10. There were so many good elements to it that I can&#39;t see trashing it. But the story is one that requires a level of emotional endurance that few viewers will be willing or able to invest to get any enjoyment out of it.

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