Reviewed by: Todd Adams
“The Story Of Us” intensely portrays the pain of a marriage falling apart. This is a movie which delves into the line we’ve all heard: “We just didn’t love each other anymore.” Yet, “The Story Of Us” is also refreshingly based on a married couple not willing to throw that first love away.
I think “The Story Of Us” was poorly advertised to the point of misrepresentation. It is NOT a romantic comedy at all, but is instead a deeply moving drama. Despite lighthearted moments, this movie is intense from beginning to end. The couple portrayed by Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer have many personality differences, and have grown apart over the years under the strain of their disagreements and the pressures of life. Their discord has grown increasingly heated to the point of ongoing lashing verbal clashes. They wrestle with the conflict of their current relational tension vs. the ardor of a love they once knew together. They attempt again and again to rekindle the flame only to repeatedly reignite the fire. Either they will break the cycle or they will be broken by it.
“The Story Of Us” ranks highly on my personal list of worthwhile dramas. Thematically, this film boldly brings us face to face with our own relational imperfections. It’s one thing to fight; it’s another to view how ugly it really is. It’s one thing to have needs; it’s another to see how selfish we can be. It’s one thing to feel misunderstood; it’s another to see how we twist another’s meaning out of context. I thought the acting was excellent. The emotional intensity of this couple is touching. I felt like these people mattered. The camera work and script are intelligent. This movie is well made. One powerful scene of Michelle Pfeiffer having flashbacks of her marriage is enough to bring both men and women to tears.
From a Christian point of view, “The Story Of Us” is not offense-free. Lewd sexual remarks by minor characters in the film are a definite earsore. The heated arguments between the couple are full of swearing. However, couples lashing out at one another don’t often communicate with tender words in the first place. Heated romance is displayed, but this is a married couple so the interaction is apt. I suppose if all Christians were perfect with perfect relationships, this movie would have no use. As it is, “The Story Of Us” hits home with the brokenness most of us likely face, at least from time to time. The overall morals are solid. These people could seek out affairs and addictions to cope, but they don’t. They could abandon their family and escape, but they don’t walk away. They could punish one other in the hurtful ways only those closest to you could, but they don’t steep this low. “The Story of Us” demonstrates the perseverance of a couple to rediscover the love they once had, taking the hard road and not the easy one.
I highly recommend this film for viewers who are ready for it. It may hit too close to home for some; others might not key in on the psychology and find it no more than a fight-filled drama. Beneath the surface of this well-produced film is a glimpse of the relational stress most of us will not completely escape, Christian or not; and a strong encouragement to persevere towards a godly ending.
Year of Release—1999