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The Story of Us (1999)

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Ben and Katie Jordan are a married couple who go through hard times in fifteen years of marriage.

Director:

Rob Reiner
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... Ben Jordan
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Katie Jordan
Colleen Rennison ... Erin Jordan at Ten
Jake Sandvig ... Josh Jordan at Twelve
Casey Boersma ... Josh Jordan at Two and a Half
Tim Matheson ... Marty
Rob Reiner ... Stan
Julie Hagerty ... Liza
Rita Wilson ... Rachel
Dylan Boersma ... Josh Jordan at Three
Ken Lerner ... Dr. Rifkin
Victor Raider-Wexler ... Dr. Hopkins
Albert Hague ... Dr. Siegler
Jayne Meadows ... Dot
Tom Poston ... Harry
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Storyline

Ben and Katie married fifteen years ago and gifted with two children. They stay together but their hearts had separated long back. After the kids are send to summer camp both start living separately and eventually preparing to break news of their separation to the kids. But being alone in each one's own world makes them to think about the other. When the D-day comes Katie and Ben stick together for the good of their children. Written by Thejus Joseph Jose

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Can a marriage survive 15 years of marriage?

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

15 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nuestro amor See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,673,080, 17 October 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$27,067,160, 28 November 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Castle Rock Entertainment See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Hague's last film. See more »

Goofs

During the start of the "there is no ass" conversation between the Reiner and Willis characters as the camera goes backwards, you can see the white tennis shoes/legs of a crew member walking backwards in the reflection of the glass railing. See more »

Quotes

Stan: Love is just lust in disguise, and lust fades, so you damn well better be with someone who can stand you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Game k n b?: Episode dated 29 November 2006 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

(I) Get Lost
Written and Performed by Eric Clapton
Produced by Eric Clapton
Courtesy of Reprise Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Everyone's marriage nightmare come true
24 February 2000 | by FlickJunkie-2See all my reviews

This is a disturbing, bittersweet romantic comedy about two people who'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't meet her standards so she snipes, he explodes and then she accuses him of not listening. She then throws up every mistake he's ever made and every fault he'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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 "The War of The Roses" 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.

The result is a noxious marathon of petty arguments that get under the viewers' 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't go home feeling like you've had a nice evening.

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'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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