The Story Of Us

Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer try very hard and certainly give a lot to this brittle romantic comedy, directed by Rob Reiner, about a husband and wife who seem to hate each other after 15 years together. But the script by Alan Zweibel and Jessie Nelson and Reiner’s direction of the secondary cast bristle with phoniness. There’s sitcom phoniness, the phoniness of imitating Woody Allen badly (cheap-shot therapist jokes based on attitudes rather than observations), and the phoniness of imitating Two for the Road even more ineptly (from the scattershot chronological structure to the obnoxious American tourists). Ultimately the lead performances lie buried in heaps of bad habits and strident conceits. If you disagree with me and like this, chances are you’ll find it cute. With Reiner, Tim Matheson, and Julie Hagerty, and cameos by Red Buttons and Jayne Meadows, among others. (JR)

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