A forgotten Bruce Willis movie has just hit Netflix today: 1999 romcom The Story of Us. The film stars Willis alongside Michelle Pfeiffer as Ben and Katie Jordan, a married couple of 15 years who experience a rough patch.
I’m going to take a wild guess that it wasn’t priority viewing when you woke up this morning. Heck, it’s not even the biggest thing coming to Netflix this week. Or the best. Very far from the best, as a matter of fact. But I’ve been tasked with playing devil’s advocate, and so help me god the devil’s advocate will be delivered.
Why exactly should you watch an obscure 90s soap-fest in 2020? Well, for a start, Bruce Willis is an underrated actor whose film career displays far more variety than typical of an action star. This is evidence of that versatility.
Point two is that we all like to think we’re cinephiles. We all go through internet lists of must-see movies, jotting down the same mainstream classics you see on every one of them. But you can’t really break down film history without finding the movies that don’t appear on those lists. What was 90s filmmaking really like? Nothing can educate you on an era’s meta quite like its cannon fodder.
On the flipside, there’s a contemporaneous argument, too. Forget trying to understand a bygone era, we’ve got a pandemic to process. Post-war generations have never been more stressed and everyone’s looking for a release. What could disarm us more effectively than a cheesy artefact from the past? The Story of Us will draw laughs galore from its datedness – the kind of good-natured glee that’s been sorely missing from this year.
All in all, more reasons than you’d think. The case for the defence rests.