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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.29%
Worth A Look: 17.14%
Average: 20%
Pretty Bad: 27.14%
Total Crap31.43%

9 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Story of Us, The
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by Erik Childress

"Doesn't Rob Reiner Remember North?"
2 stars

The Story of Us (**) – Didn’t Rob Reiner learn his lesson? Didn’t he know better than to team up, once again, with the writer of the promising, yet disastrous picture, North? Everyone remember North? About the boy that “fires” his parents to go off in search of another set? Promising idea for a movie, right? As it turned out, no. North is a film that Reiner will never be able to best on the scale of the crap meter. The screenwriter of that picture should have sentenced to writing for ABC’s TGIFridays.

Instead we get The Story of Us, another film that looked promising hearing about it in Premiere and Variety. It looked like Bruce Willis was doing what I’ve always felt he should do, a light romantic comedy. And who better to do that with than Rob Reiner? He was destined to break out of the longest bad film streak of the nineties, even if Kevin Costner is moving up fast. And Michelle Pfeiffer looked like she was finally breaking out of the made-for-Oprah’s book club-movies and that was good to see because she deserves better. And certainly better than The Story of Us, which despite it’s title, really doesn’t have much of a story and we don’t see enough of the two characters early on in their relationship to establish why they are an “us”. We see maybe 10 minutes of affection and the rest of time is divided up between fighting, fighting, and humorous talks with their married friends. I got sick of the Real World-type confessionals by the second time it was used which is less than 10 minutes into the movie. It’s like Reiner was trying to capture some of that When Harry Met Sally magic. Hey, it worked there with the older couples, right? The stories by those people in that movie goes into more depth about how they fell in love than this film does in 92 minutes. How do you tell a “story of us” in 92 minutes? You can’t, unless your plan is to just spoon feed trite and contrivance to your audience. Which proves my point once again that romantic dramas are hard to do because the emotions tend to feel too phony. You can’t love someone in a drama the same way you can in a romantic comedy. We tend to forgive romantic comedies most of their shortcomings because we expect the couple to get together in the end. The ending is never as important as the journey. And the journey in The Story of Us really isn’t a journey at all. We get a never-ending series of flashbacks and flashforwards that make us feel like we’re watching home movies and not a major motion picture. Why not start at the beginning? Make a real marriage picture. Start at how they meet, the love that they feel, the decisions they have to make that eventually lead to problems that leads to fighting that leads to where we find ourselves at the beginning of the film. There are some nice Reiner-type laughs in the film. Willis has some particularly funny moments and Pfeiffer shows she’s equally good, even delivering a final monologue that might be funny in the comedy version of this film, but in the drama feels forced and out-of-place. I liked all their friends too. Paul Reiser and Rob Reiner have some funny stuff and Rita Wilson has the kind of role that Academy voters would look at in the supporting actress category if this was a better movie and she had more scenes.

Oh well, I guess Bruce Willis’ streak continues (despite the Oscar nominations that The Sixth Sense are going to get) and Pfeiffer will probably be tuning into Oprah’s Book Club looking for her next project. Rob Reiner I’m sure will rebound with another good film. But after this film, writer Alan Zwiebel shouldn’t be sentenced to ABC’s TGIFriday’s. He should just be put out of his misery, Reiner’s and ours.

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originally posted: 02/16/00 10:14:06
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User Comments

2/28/05 Jeff Anderson Another Rob Reiner DISASTER! Boring, phony & there's not one believable moment AT ALL! 1 stars
3/04/03 Jack Sommersby Typical Rob Reiner snowjob. As overly cutesy and phony as Sleepless in Seattle. 1 stars
3/03/02 Jenny Tullwartz Better parts kick tops of legs; M. Pheiffer less empty and pretentious than usual 4 stars
2/02/02 Andrew Carden Good Plot [And Actors] Wasted In Boring and Tired Movie. 1 stars
1/14/02 Flick Chick yawn 3 stars
6/05/01 Ben Donnelly Average, it was OK i suppose 4 stars
2/09/01 peter faiz waiting eagerly for the scene when pfeifer gets gang raped and cute yuppie family watches 1 stars
10/02/00 Trina Boy can I relate to this movie 5 stars
8/01/00 Piz Better than i ever expected, it was quick, funny, and poignant, with likeable characters. 4 stars
5/08/00 Pygmalion Productions Heartbreaking, Insightful and brilliant 4 stars
4/07/00 SID One of the most underrated films. Works much better as a drama, some laughs are forced. 5 stars
3/20/00 Leonardo Dicaprio REALLT REALLY GOOD 5 stars
2/25/00 fire-n-ice i thought it was pretty good for a chic flick 4 stars
11/07/99 Meepos Fluff. 2 stars
10/31/99 Lindsey It was a pretty good movie. Fairly interesting, several funny parts, and good ending. 3 stars
10/27/99 Dave K. Interesting re-hash of old story. Good Clapton Sndtrk too. 4 stars
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  13-Oct-1999 (R)



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