STORY OF US: DVD
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."
Review Published: September 7, 2000
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STORY OF US, THE (MA15+) 1990
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
Behind the scenes documentary
Director's commentary by Rob Reiner
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.
We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.