I belive there is a lot you can learn from theory, but until you go out and apply it, it's almost meaningless. This is a paper that was written in an communicaiton theory class discussing the theories in the movie "The Story of Us"
Barnett Pearce and Vernon Cronen created the theory Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM). This theory states (according to the text) that persons-in-conversation co-construct their own social realities and are simultaneously shaped by the worlds they create. Meaning people have a different perception of episodes, identity, relationships, and culture.
A relationship defines the way people will determine a message from someone else. For example the phrase “I love you.” An example in the movie is the contrast of what Ben and Katie determine a relationship. When Ben goes to talk to another woman about his marriage Katie automatically assumes that it his “girlfriend” and he is in a relationship. Ben does not consider this a relationship at all. This shows the different perceptions of a relationship.
Katie’s identity is threatened by this woman that Ben is talking to. She wonders why he just does not talk to her, and if the woman is taking her place in the relationship. Katie starts to loose her since of feeling special and starts to feel less of a wife, and more of an independent person, which also leads to the downfall of the marriage.
Pearce and Cronen’s theory shows how people co-create realities; it shows the difference between stories lived versus stories told. Each of them has a different idea of what each is thinking throughout this constantly failing marriage. You could ask Katie and Ben what happened at to their marriage and they would give you two different answers.
The title Story of Us shows the theory in many different instances, making it just that, the story of Ben and Katie. A great example of this theory is when Katie goes out with her female friends for dinner and Ben does the same with his male friends. Listening to the conversations that take place at the tables, men and women have to separate ideas and perceptions of things, such as, what is cheating. One of Ben’s friends is talking to someone on the internet and does not consider it cheating, whereas a woman does.
The film provides equipment for living in the lessons it teaches us. One of its greatest lessons is to always see the other’s point of view before making a judgment especially in an interpersonal relationship. Being able to see the views of your significant other can save you from argument and disputes. It will help both sides to better understand each other and grow into a closer relationship, as it did to the characters in this film.