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The Story of Us

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The Story of Us
Story of us.jpg
Genre: Romance
Directed By: Rob Reiner
Produced By: Jessie Nelson
Alan Zweibel
Rob Reiner
Written By: Alan Zweibel
Jessie Nelson
Starring: Bruce Willis
Michelle Pfeiffer
Photography: Color
Distributed By: Universal Studios
Castle Rock Entertainment
Warner Brothers (overseas)
Release Date: October 13, 1999 (premiere)
October 15, 1999 (United States)
Runtime: 95 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $50 million
Box Office: $58 million

The Story Of Us is a 1999 romantic comedy drama film starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer. The film was written by Alan Zweibel and Jessie Nelson, and was directed by Rob Reiner (who makes a cameo in the film as well).


Ben Jordan (Willis) and his wife Katie (Pfeiffer), who have been married for fifteen years, start to go through major difficulties and even consider divorcing. Later, they both decide to get back together.

Why It Sucks

  1. The story is very weak and predictable.
  2. Ben and Katie have little to no chemistry.
  3. Poor writing.
  4. Bland dialogue.
  5. Most of the jokes aren't funny.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Ben and Katie get back together at the end.
  2. The quotes about egg rolls near the end are pretty amusing.
  3. The kids in the film are likable.


The film received negative reviews from critics and audiences. The film currently holds a 28% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average of 4.5 out of 10 and a critic consensus that reads "Lack of chemistry between Bruce Willis and Michelle Pheiffer worsens the dull and predictable story." Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film a one out of four stars and stated in his review "Gene Siskel used to ask if a movie was as good as a documentary of the same actors having lunch. Watching The Story of Us, I imagined a documentary of the marriage of, say, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. I do not say that to score a cheap point, but because Moore and Willis are spirited and intelligent people who no doubt had interesting fights about real issues, and not insipid fights about sitcom issues... there is a restaurant scene in which Willis screams angrily in an unsuccessful (indeed, melancholy) attempt to rip off Meg Ryan's famous restaurant orgasm in Reiner's When Harry Met Sally... At the end of his tirade, Willis jumps up and tells Reiner what he can "shove up the tops of your legs!" Doesn't work, because (a) he's too angry to think up or stop for a punch line, (b) the line isn't funny, and (c) the setup wasn't funny, either, because the concept isn't funny. Oh, and the scene ends with Reiner doing a double-take directly into the camera. How many ways can one scene be mishandled? Who thought this movie would be entertaining? The same person who thinks we need more dialogue about why guys do the wrong thing with rolls of toilet paper. And who thinks the misery of this film can be repaired by a showboat monologue at the end that's well-delivered by Pfeiffer, but reads like an audition scene."[1] On The Worst of 1999 show, Roger Ebert deemed it as his worst film in the Mopy and dopey category while guest critic Joel Siegel of Good Morning America named Message in a Bottle as his worst film in the Mopy and dopey category.

Box Office

The Story of Us opened at #3 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $9,673,080. The film would later make a total domestic gross of $27,100,031. In foreign countries, the film made $31,800,000. Overall, the film made $58,900,031 against its $50 million budget making it a box office bomb.


  • This was the second time Alan Zweibel, Rob Reiner and Bruce Willis worked with each other since North.
  • This was the final theatrical film to star actor and comedian Red Buttons before he died in 2006.
  • Final film to star Albert Hague before his death in 2001.
  • The film was originally going to be a complete romantic comedy before the premise was changed to a serious tone mixed with the romantic comedy aspects.



External links