People Like Us Movie Review – Time For Some Family Drama
When I sat down to watch Dreamworks’ latest film, People Like Us, I didn’t know anything about it except that Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer starred in it and sometimes that’s the best way to watch a movie.
Based on true events, People Like Us follows Sam (Chris Pine) a fast-talking salesman in his twenties who has to head back home when his father suddenly passes away. We soon realize that Sam’s relationship with his family is troubled and he would rather be somewhere else than dealing with his mother. However, in the course of fulfilling his father’s last wishes, Sam uncovers a stunning secret: he has a 30-year-old sister Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) and a nephew Josh (Michael Hall D’Addario), whom he never knew about. Sam’s world is suddenly turned upside down when he decides to get to know them without revealing his true identity.
As you can probably guess from the story, this is a character development story that relies a lot on performances for its success. The premise itself is interesting and I think writers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert penned a good script that makes the characters human and allows you to care about them.
But I think for me it came down to the performances. While I wouldn’t say that I was blown away by any one performance, I would say that overall the cast is very strong. They managed to bring the story to life in a believable and compelling way. Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks have an interesting dynamic, although if I had one criticism is that they almost worked better as a couple than Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde, who plays Sam’s girlfriend Hannah in the movie. This was a bit of an issue because you know these two can’t be together seeing how they’re brothers and sisters and yet we navigate so close to that line it’s a bit uncomfortable to watch at times.
Michelle Pfeiffer also gives a powerful performance as Sam’s mother Lillian dealing with her own issues and past demons. But then again, I always think she’s brilliant, so there’s no surprise there.
Overall, I would say that People Like Us might not be the most original drama to come out this year and there may be a few cliches here and there, that said if you like family dramas and character driven stories, you should definitely give it a shot. I enjoyed it from beginning to finish and was touched by the story and performances. All and all a great experience.
People Like Us is out in theaters today. You can watch the trailer here.
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