The Story of Us (1999)

Behold the Pfeiffer factor

Feb 2, 2005 at 4:00 am

Should be called The Story of How Bruce Willis Can't Wipe That Cocky Smirk Off His Face Long Enough for Us to Believe His Marriage Is Truly in Peril. Such inability to control one's dimples can tend to ruin a movie that hinges on the believability of a married couple's crumbling relationship. It's really a shame that Willis couldn't make this movie today. After all, his hot ex-wife is now fucking a certain androgynous, ditzy costar of Dude, Where's My Car? six ways to Sunday. If that won't humble the smirk off a man's face, nothing will.

Toss in ham-fisted dialogue that plays like Woody Allen for Dummies, and what you think you'd have here is a nearly unwatchable film. Except that The Story of Us benefits from the Pfeiffer factor. Specifically, Michelle Pfeiffer is in this movie, and no movie featuring Michelle Pfeiffer can rightfully be considered "unwatchable." (Up Close & Personal gives that theory a run for its money.) To say that Pfeiffer, out-of-this-world gorgeous at 46, is aging like fine wine doesn't do her beauty justice. She is the only actress on earth where the sound could go out during one of her flicks and not a single straight male or lesbian would so much as glimpse at the theater exit.

If Pfeiffer decided to visit the Museum of Modern Art, she would not be charged admission; she'd be asked by curators to stand in one place, with four velvet ropes configured in a square around her. She is living proof that God can throw a perfect game.

Each week the author treks to the Schlafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library, where a staff member blindfolds him and escorts him to the movie shelves. After selecting a film at random, Seely checks it out and reviews it.