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Reckoning

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STORY OF US: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Married for 15 years, Ben (Bruce Willis) and Katie (Michelle Pfeiffer) Jordan are at breaking point in their relationship, despite having two great kids and a comfortable life. Somehow, they are at war instead of in bliss: proximity is fatal. They were always different - she a stickler for order, he a chaotic writer without a head for detail - but that used to be a plus in their friendship and their love. No longer: something (was it life's grind?) has made them adversaries. Can they defeat the culture of conflict they have created, not just for the kids' sake, but for their own?

"'You could just as easily call it the story of everybody' says Bruce Willis. 'It's the day to day grind that wears the marriage out' says Michelle Pfeiffer. Together Willis and Pfeiffer capture only too well those little things than impinge on our relationships. The Story of Us is an insightful and delightful romantic comedy that captures all those shades of gray. Dramatic and humorous, this is the story of two different types of people, whose very differences had appeal 15 years ago, but are now the cause of irritation. Eric Clapton's musical signature leaves an indelible mark, as his distinctive guitar sets the mood.

We meet the stars and crew in a terrific featurette, which begins in silence as moments of the relationship are captured exemplifying chaos, romance, angst, passion, detachment and affection. Director Rob Reiner admits that he is always looking for special chemistry with his actors; Willis and Pfeiffer had never worked together before, and he liked the idea. Willis admits that both he and Pfeiffer were both at a bit of a loss as to how to behave like a couple who had been married for 15 years, as they didn't know each other. His idea? He proposed to Pfeiffer that he flirt with her every day. She said 'sure'. 'So that was my job every day to flirt with Michelle Pfeiffer,' says Willis. The technique must have paid off, as there's chemistry to spare throughout. 'This was far more challenging than running down the street with a gun in my hands shouting (or whatever I do in those things),' he adds.

You may be surprised to hear from Pfeiffer that shooting in Venice was an unpleasant experience for her. 'It was cold and I like being at home. Trying to make a movie when you can only get about by boat slows everything down,' she says. 'It was difficult to control the paparazzi they were almost IN the movie.' Willis agrees, remembering how cold it was, the wind whipping across the Grand Canal.

Rob Reiner's intelligent and perceptive audio commentary tells how how Eric Clapton became involved and how impossibly difficult he found the dual roles of acting and directing, "but I was the cheapest actor available." This commentary is highly recommended, Reiner giving a wonderful insight into the way he works, about the actors, his favourite moments and items of particular relevance. He talks about Bruce Willis as an extraordinary actor in terms of reality, simplicity and tremendous breadth, and believes that Michelle Pfeiffer is the most beautiful actress to have graced the screen. Her organised onscreen character is so similar to her real personality, he says. From details of the scene where we get to see Willis' bare behind to Reiner's pride in the Castle Rock logo for which he was responsible creating 12 years ago, this commentary is jam packed with fascinating information, delivered in a hugely entertaining way.

Navigation is blissfully straightforward, the picture quality sharp and pure, with resonating sound in digital Dolby. You can also view the trailer, hear the movie in English, French or Italian, as well as a selection of language subtitles."
Louise Keller

Review Published: September 7, 2000



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STORY OF US, THE (MA15+) 1990
(US)

CAST: Bruce Willis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tim Matheson, Rob Reiner, Rita Wilson, Paul Reiser, Julie Hagerty

DIRECTOR: Rob Reiner

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

DVD Distributor: Warner Home Entertainment

DVD Release: August 30, 2000

RRP: $36.95

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Behind the scenes documentary
Director's commentary by Rob Reiner
Theatrical trailer
Dolby Surround 5.1
English, French, Italilan

Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German, English for the hearing impaired, Italian for the hearing impaired.

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We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.

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