Lisa Rose/Globe
March 10, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

When people think of Michelle Pfeiffer, angst-filled flicks like ”A Thousand Acres” and ”Up Close and Personal” usually come to mind. ”The Deep End of the Ocean” (opening Friday) is yet another cinematic bummer for the queen of pain — the story of a mother who loses her youngest son only to have him reappear nine years later. The 41-year-old past Oscar nominee confides to EW Online that she’s had enough despair for now and would like to trade all that gloom for some goof. ”I would do ‘Something About Mary,”’ says Pfeiffer. ”I would love to do something like a screwball comedy where I’m just falling down, that kind of thing.”

There’s just one catch, according to the actress whose career has survived such comedic flops as ”Amazon Women on the Moon” and ”Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen”: ”The problem is, you have to be so careful who you do those movies with, because they either really work or they fail miserably. I think I’m not brave enough sometimes to risk that with a director.”

So until the right dog-kicking, zipper-catching vehicle comes around, Pfeiffer will have to satisfy her comedy jones swapping punchlines with Bruce Willis in ”The Story of Us” (due this fall). ”It’s not exactly totally light, but it’s really funny,” says Pfeiffer of the Rob Reiner-directed project which has been described as ”When Harry Met Sally…” 10 years later. ”Bruce Willis and I get to yell at each other a lot.”

And what about doing a comedy cameo on hubby David E. Kelley’s Golden Globe-winning ”Ally McBeal,” as her costar Willis did earlier this season? ”You never know,” shrugs Pfeiffer. ”I love the show, so you never know.”

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