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The Story of Us (1999)
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Review Date: October 17, 1999
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: Alan Zweibel, Jessie Nelson
Producers: Rob Reiner, Alan Zweibel, Jessie Nelson
Actors:
Michelle Pfeiffer as Katie
Bruce Willis as Ben
Rob Reiner as Stan
Plot:
A married couple, with 15 years and two kids under their belts, suddenly find themselves caught in a state of indecision on whether or not to continue their relationship. You see, they have recently come to realize that their initial love for one another has faded over the years, and that all they seem to be left with are many differences of opinion. Will they break up or keep going?
Critique:
Decent film featuring great performances by Pfeiffer and Willis, an interesting story about a couple going through some rough waters in the later years of their marriage, but too many "written" flat jokes by the side characters, an easy ending and an annoying soundtrack placed this film on an overall plate of mediocrity for me. Okay, so I am also a little biased because I thought there were way too many blatant photocopied moments from the successful WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, but even with that aside, this film just seemed to dissolve into too many bickering arguments at certain points, with moments of phony conversations with their "witty" friends just slowing the whole process down further. I think I would have enjoyed this film so much more, if it had focused more on the relationship between Willis and Pfeiffer.

Both actors were at the top of their game in this film with many touching and funny moments between them and their kids. I thought the flashback sequences used in the film were effective and useful in driving us closer into the characters, and appreciated the numerous relationship up-and-down moments to which many people surely were be able to relate. I did find that there was a little too much emphasis on the screaming/shouting variety of scenes, as opposed to more of the lighter moments, but I suppose that was the whole point of the film, you know, to show the "darker" side of a marriage. All in all, I think that most people who have been in relationships should be able to relate to several disagreements from this film, certainly the core reasons behind the conflicts, if not the actual circumstances themselves. Ultimately the film didn't blow me away with any of its rehashed situations, and led me astray with the contrived "witty" banter of their friends. Dramatically, I would recommend it higher, but the comedic low-points should keep you away if you're looking for that sort of escape. Either way, rent WHEN HARRY MET SALLY (10/10) and thank me in the morning.
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian
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