The story per se is laughable, but it is extremely well constructed from a craft point of view. I have studied one or two scenes and is amazing how much by the book this whole thing is. (It is one of the most financially successful movies of all time). There are two or three funny ideas from the special effects department (the cow, the house).
Which makes me think: What makes this film so cardboardish Hollywood-esque? Bill Paxton's character makes the decision to follow his ex-wife into the storm. His new fiancee understands and leaves (without a fight, too much force of nature, etc etc) - he never loved her anyway(?). Which puts him deep into the clueless department. Helen Hunt on the other hand is in denial. Her balance of conflicting motives is more convincing. I think thats why, after he leaves his fiancee, the movie becomes all but hers. Her goals never "go away", they remain in constant struggle throughout the end.
Also, the side characters are just way too stylized. And the "bad guys" in their black cars are in comicland altogether.