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The Story of Us

The Story of Us This movie depicts a turbulent period in the 15 year marriage of a middle class suburban couple in the process of divorce over irreconcilable differences. While carrying through with their resolution, they revive past memories and rediscover the deeper layer of emotional bonding which brought them together in the first place.

 

Articles on The Story of Us

Ben and Katie’s relationship is an excellent example of Vital Attraction Level 4 in the Scale of Romance. See the article and videos.

After 15 years of marriage their relationship had arrived at a point where the very attributes that originally gave liveliness and joy to the relationship have become a source of friction, tension and frequent quarrels. This is an example of how relationships are marred by Conflict – Level 2 in the Scale of Harmony . See the article and videos.

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Plot Summary

The Story of Us is the very real and humorous examination of Ben and Katie Jordan's marriage. After 15 years, the couple is wrestling with the universal paradox: why are the qualities that made them fall in love in the first place now the very things pulling them apart? Katie Jordan is the designated driver of the marriage. She likes having everything in its place, knowing that there are answers to the little questions and having a sense of closure. Her career as a crossword-puzzle designer fulfills her need to know that the little world on that half page is complete. And this is why Katie fell in love with Ben's imagination, spontaneity and playfulness.

Ben Jordan, a writer, is a true romantic who believes in happy endings. But life demands some attention to details, and Ben doesn't know where the medicines are and he lets his washer-fluid light blink incessantly red. Ben's philosophy, as Katie describes it, is comparable to the children's book Harold and the Purple Crayon. Harold is a little boy who draws the world the way he wants it to be and not the way it actually is. Initially they were attracted to one another because they were so very different. Then they had arrived at a point where the very attributes that originally gave liveliness and joy to the relationship have become a source of friction, tension and frequent quarrels. Emotionally drained from their relationship, the Jordans attempt a trial separation while their children, Josh, 12, and Erin, 10, are away at summer camp. For both Ben and Katie, fighting has lately become the condition rather than the exception, and they believe that their only option is a silent retreat to neutral corners.

While carrying out that decision they discover a deeper layer of emotional attachment which they cherish and are unwilling to give up. They recognize that their differences represent strengths by which they complement and complete one another. They realize that in the course of living their lives they had forgotten that their relationship and their children are more important than anything else. Ultimately familiarity, friendship, trust and love of their children prevail and they decide to remain together.

 

 

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The Story of Us
Directed by Rob Reiner
Written by Alan Zweibel & Jessie Nelson
Starring Bruce Willis as Ben Jordan, Michelle Pfeiffer as Katie Jordan                                                                  
Copyright belongs to Castle Rock Entertainment

 

 

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Possession

Possession Possession is a 2002 motion picture based on the novel of the same name by A. S. Byatt. The film relates the story of two scholars who uncover details of a passionate love affair between two 19th Century English poets. Their exploration of the past breaks down the defensive barriers of their intellectuality and awakens a flame of real emotional intensity. The movie contrasts the social barriers that constrained the relationship between two poets with the psychological barriers that restrain their modern counterparts.

 

Articles on Possession
Maud and Roland’s relationship shows an excellent example of Conflict in Level 2 in the Scale of Romance. Read more and watch video. See the article and videos.
Roland’s abstinence awakens a deeper relationship between them that melts the defensive barriers and leads them to a discovery about themselves. Read about it in the article Love, Romance, Sex & Marriage and watch videos. See the article and videos.
Read more and ask questions about this movie in the Movie Forums.

 

Plot Summary

Maud Bailey, English poetry professor in her 30s, meets Roland Michell, an American scholar who travels to London on a fellowship. He has yet to break out from under his mentor's shadow until he finds a pair of love letters in the textbook that once belonged to one of his idols, a famous long dead Victorian poet Randolph Henry Ash. Michell, after some sleuthing around, finds out that the letters were not written to his wife but another well known Victorian poet, Christabel LaMotte. Roland enlists the aid of a Dr. Maud Bailey, an expert on the life of the LaMotte. Together they strive to unravel the secret romance between Victorian poets Randolph Henry Ash and Christabel LaMotte.

Neither of the moderns seem made for love and certainly not for each other. They are opposites bordering on contradictions. Bailey is guarded, stiff, irritable, almost frigid British academic, who wants to be addressed as Professor and has a prejudice against all things American. Suspicious of any man’s sexual intentions and eager to avoid relationships, she conceals her beauty to avoid attracting attention to herself. Roland is a casual, friendly, irreverent American who distains British formality. He has had enough of unfulfilling and sometimes hurtful relationships centered around sex and is leery of any intimacy.

As they uncover details of the passionate love affair between Ash and LaMotte, the poetry of that relationship infiltrates their cold hearts and awakens a flame of real emotional intensity. Maud’s heart melts and she feels tempted by the lure of sexual relationship. Uncharacteristically, it is Roland who pulls back for fear of spoiling a relationship he has come to value far more than physical pleasure. Maud feels confused and rejected. Her old fears and suspicions of intimate relationship resurface and they quarrel, yet the real basis for their quarrel is their deeper emotional attraction to one another which ultimately prevails. Delving beneath their surface differences, they discover bonds of genuine attraction and admiration that elevate the whole relationship to a far higher level..

 

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Directed by Neil LaBute
Written by A.S.Byatt (Book),Samuel Taylor(Original play),
Barbara Benedek and David Rayfiel(Screenplay)
Starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Maud Bailey, Aaron Eckhart as Roland Michell,
Jeremy Northam as Randolph Henry Ash, Jennifer Ehle as Christabel LaMotte
Copyright belongs to USA Films and Warner Bros. Pictures

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The Mirror has Two Faces

This 1996 romance, starring Barbra Streisand, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Lauren Bacall and Mimi Rogers, explores the complex relationship between romantic love and sexuality in the lives of two couples. Refusing to offer facile answers, it suggests that relationships based primarily on physical attraction are prone to eventual failure, whereas those based on true respect and deep affection find greater fulfillment through the physical expression of higher emotions.

 

Articles on The Mirror has Two Faces

 

Plot Summary

The Mirror Has Two Faces is a 1996 American romantic drama produced and directed by Barbra Streisand, who also stars as Rose Morgan (Streisand). Rose is a shy, plain, middle-aged English literature professor at Columbia University, who shares a home with her vain, overbearing, widowed mother. When her attractive sister Claire marries Alex (Pierce Bronson), a man Rose has secretly been in love with for years, the emptiness in Rose’s life becomes difficult to bear. Soon afterwards, Rose becomes friends with Gregory Larkin (Jeff Bridges), a mathematics professor who is trying to break free from a long chain of sexual relationships which never lead to meaningful human intimacy.

Gregory is seeking a platonic relationship with a physically unattractive woman to eliminate the complications that sex raises. He is attracted by Rose’s wit, intelligence, natural humor and good values. Rose finds him pleasant company and a good companion. Eventually they marry on the understanding that sex will have little or no place in their relationship. Although Rose secretly longs for a total relationship, she decides to play by his rules. Over time they develop deep respect, appreciation and affection for one another. Gregory is delighted but Rose is increasingly frustrated. When Greg refuses to sleep with her for fear of spoiling their relationship, she feels rejected, leaves him and embarks on a crash course in beautification, fashion and fitness. Greg returns from a tour to find a sexually alluring woman waiting for him. He feels betrayed and wants the old homely Rose back, whom he can love for her mind and heart, rather than lust after for her body. Finally he confesses to Rose that he cannot live without her and agrees to accept sex as a natural part of their truly romantic relationship.

The relationship between Rose and Greg is in sharp contrast to that between Claire and Alex. Like her mother, Claire considers physical beauty was her greatest asset and uses it to snare handsome, gallant Alex into a marriage. Once having caught him, she starts pursuing younger men to reinforce her sense of being attractive. The more affection Alex expresses, the less satisfied Claire becomes. Finally she leaves Alex for someone else, who surely will not be the last in a series of failed relationships based on physical attraction. When Claire rejects him, Alex seeks out Rose and wants to make love with her. Only then does Rose realize that her physical attraction for Alex was not real love. The story is fanciful, but the issues it raises are real enough and the truth it expresses carries a message for all those who long for true and lasting romance .

If you would like to raise general questions on romance, love, marriage and relationship or about any of the content in this article, please post your entry in the appropriate forums

 

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Directed by Barbra Streisand
Written by André Cayatte
Starring Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges                                                                                       
Copyright belongs to TriStar Pictures

 

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  • Visit Life in Movies for original analysis of human nature and the character of life in other movies.
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