Two nice folks, with two nice kids--and they all lived miserably ever after. So Ben (Bruce Willis) and Katie (Michelle Pfeiffer) are nearly splitsville. The Alan Zweibel-Jessie Nelson script, which wants to be true and funny, tries too hard to be either. There are a few moments (notably Pfeiffer's sweet, blathery peroration) to remind you of when a Rob Reiner film was a treat and not a chore. But mostly the movie is like the marriage: good casting, golden promise, yet somehow a grating ordeal. The Story of Us means to describe pain; instead, it inflicts it.
--By Richard Corliss