Top Forties
The Story of Us
Review by Ross Anthony

"The Story of Us" could be described as a sequel to "When Harry met Sally," you know, like fifteen years later and with a heavier drama to comedy ratio. There's a lot of the same back and forth talk about the nature of men and women and relationships that's probably been going on for centuries with very little universal resolution. However, instead of single people chattering about this, we now have two very married folks with very real kids. The weight of their history is far too heavy to support a Harry/Sally lightness.

About midway through, Bruce and Michelle head off on a Venetian vacation in hopes of "jump-starting" their waning marriage. This is were they meet the movie's comic relief: a hilariously annoying couple from the States. But the bickering stalemate demands further relief, so Paul Reiser and the director himself (Rob Reiner) make comedic appearances. Though these two are amusing, you'll still have to wade through more than a few yelling spats from the leads.

I don't know about you, but I don't enjoy arguments at temper's edge. In fact, when neighbors raise their voices to each other, my usual reaction is to take a walk. Though this film's arguments are very well acted and probably ring dissonantly true for many married (or divorced) movie-goers -- I just wanted to take a walk during those parts. That said, the highlight of the film is a Willis monologue that brilliantly combines humor, sarcasm and heartfelt soul-searching. Pfeiffer has a similar, yet less effective monologue (near-missing the mark despite her fine efforts).

As for a plot ... Bruce and Michelle start the movie in marital discord hobbling towards separation. To keep your attention, the filmmakers rely entirely on strong performances, topical chit-chat and basic suspense ... will they break up or realize that they're perfect for each other?

  • The Story of Us. Copyright © 1999.
  • Starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer with Rob Reiner and Paul Reiser.
  • Directed by Rob Reiner.
  • Written by Alan Zweibel and Jessie Nelson.
  • Produced by Rob Reiner, ALan Zwebel and Jessie Nelson at CastleRock/Universal.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:54:31 PDT