Let's find out what RAMA thought of this film.
A somewhat sentimental but effective drama for siblings everywhere. Well-acted, well-scripted, I think Alex Kurtzman’s feature directorial debut is off to a feel-good start. Chris Pine once again, just like he did in Star Trek, shows those effortless skills of his, everything about that man screams movie star, and Elizabeth Banks proves that this is her finest hour, both Pine and Banks to me are fairly new, we’ve seen their previous works, they’ve been around, mostly in supporting roles, but as lead stars, they’re slowly but surely showcasing what they’ve got and PEOPLE LIKE US gives them the opportunity to shine the brightest. This is where their dramatic chops are put to the test…
From DreamWorks Pictures comes “People Like Us,” a drama/comedy about family, inspired by true events, starring Chris Pine (“Star Trek”) as Sam, a twenty-something, fast-talking salesman, whose latest deal collapses on the day he learns that his father has suddenly died. Against his wishes, Sam is called home, where he must put his father’s estate in order and reconnect with his estranged family. In the course of fulfilling his father’s last wishes, Sam uncovers a startling secret that turns his entire world upside down: He has a 30-year-old sister Frankie whom he never knew about (Elizabeth Banks). As their relationship develops, Sam is forced to rethink everything he thought he knew about his family—and re-examine his own life choices in the process.
Every family’s got their secrets, which makes PEOPLE LIKE US relatable. The fact that PEOPLE LIKE US is loosely inspired by the real life experiences of Alex Kurtzman makes Kurtzman the right man for directing this, he already knows what he wants the story to convey, and the fact that he acquired help from co-scribes Roberto Orci and Jody Lambert, proves that even though this is based on his story, Kurtzman wants PEOPLE LIKE US to have richer characters and in depth meaning, he’s open to the possibility of making this a more profound and fully developed film.
The story is basically about Sam(Chris Pine) whose business or work isn’t doing so well, in fact he’ll soon be finding himself in a legal mess.
His estranged record producer dad dies and leaves him with big amount of money but the money’s not for him, it’s meant for the sister Sam never knew he had, Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), a single mom with a teen son.
So the rest of the film is about Sam trying to figure out a way to tell Frankie about who he really is, by befriending Frankie and her son, and at the same time Sam is faced with the dilemma and temptation to keep the money and fix his own life. Meanwhile, he also comes back home to his mother (Michelle Pfeiffer) who also has tough times dealing with the choices of her past.
Overall, the movie depends heavily on the skills of all the actors involved, as they bring out the conflicts, and when the revelations arrive, because in the end, the movie shows that a family may be dysfunctional but it could work, that forgiveness is not easy but it’s possible, and I think Kurtzman does a good job of making sure PEOPLE LIKE US is not misunderstood as a creepy romantic drama, plus the final scene is worth all that trouble.
GRADE: 4 out of 5
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