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The Story of Us (1999)
Realistic, well-made, and a true testament to the fact that true love is forever. . .
When I first saw the trailer for "The Story of Us" 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't stand it. She told me that it's more of a "married person" 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's something about actors that makes them seem so much better when their faces are as big as you are. Not that that's necessary. After finally seeing the film (my mom bought it and "forced" 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.
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't always a perfect, happy thing. You've got to take the good and the bad. Ben said it best when he told Katie "Nobody said it was going to be easy." Finally. Finally someone tells me it'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.
I don'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 "overacting" as I have seen it dubbed. Have you seen married people fight? It's just like that. And the good thing is the movie didn't choose sides. It just showed the arguments and the feelings behind them and left no one looking the bad guy. And Michelle Pfeiffer's beautiful performance during that closing monologue was worth watching the entire movie, even if you didn'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's flashback in the car on the way to pick up the kids from camp is one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever seen in a movie. It's amazing to see 15 years of marriage in 15 seconds and not feel shortchanged. That scene captured everything brilliantly. And Eric Clapton's music adds a lot to the movie. He is definitely talented, but it'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've ever seen. It's funny, entertaining, moving, and very well-made. I'd recommend it to anyone. Even if you don't like it, you will take something from it.
Die unendliche Geschichte (1984)
This is such a BEAUTIFUL film, with a message that will never die.
Although I was only a year old when the Neverending Story first came out, I remember watching it over and over as a little girl. My grandma got it for me when I was little and I remember making her watch it with me almost every day--sometimes two or three times in the same day. Then somehow I lost the tape, and although I still remembered and loved the movie, I forgot just how magical it really was. Then finally, (after years of "I wonder what happened to...") I found it. I realize now that in finding it I not only rediscovered a part of myself, but a beautiful world I forgot existed.
I admit that I am still waiting for a luck dragon to come and take me home to Fantasia. I belong there. A part of me lives there and so does a part of everyone, although they may not be aware of it. This is without a doubt the most beautiful movie ever made (although Legend comes close) and its message will never die as long as people hold on to their dreams. Barret Oliver's performance as Bastian still makes me cry. He speaks to that part of all of us that is not afraid to "do what we dream." Noah Hathaway was perfect for the part of Atreyu. He is one of the most beautiful and realistic heroes ever depicted. And Tami Stronach as the Childlike Empress (Moon Child) remains one of the most beautiful characters ever to grace the screen. The acting is wonderful, and the background scenery is breathtaking.
But the Neverending Story is more than just a movie. It speaks to that part in all of us that will never let go of our dreams. It is a story that will never end as long as there are people to appreciate its message. Everyone should see this movie and remember: Fantasia IS real. And "Fantasia can arise in you."