When I first became aware of People Like Us, I just assumed it was another cliché romantic dramedy. I didn’t think twice about it. But once I saw the trailer, I was intrigued. Mainly because it wasn’t what I had assumed it was. It’s a story about a man who finds out that his recently deceased father has left a great sum of money to a sister he never knew he had. I can’t think of too many brother and sister movies off the top of my head. This one looked genuinely good, especially with a cast like Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer. And it was. People Like Us is a funny and heartwarming story about the strong bond of family.
Chris Pine plays Sam, a guy whose career is about to take a major nosedive. Suddenly, Sam learns that his father has passed away, and he finds it very difficult to fly back home to attend the funeral services. Sam didn’t have a good relationship with his father and being back home isn’t helping him. His mom (Michelle Pfeiffer) is mad and upset that Sam has avoided them for so long. Sam’s girlfriend (Olivia Wilde) is totally clueless about the broken relationship he has with his parents. Ready to leave and try to save his career, Sam meets up with his dad’s attorney and finds out that his father left $150,000 to a young boy, who he finds out to be his nephew. In need of the money himself, Sam decides to investigate and later meet his half-sister, Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), and her son, Josh, to see if he should honor his father’s wishes and give them the money.
The beginning has a bit of a rocky start. I didn’t know what to think about Sam right away. As the story progresses, it continuously gets better. It’s very enjoyable watching Sam interact with family he never knew he had. Even though Frankie and Josh don’t know who Sam really is, they know they feel a bond with him. Watching those scenes of them having fun and getting to know each other were great. It also helped that Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks have wonderful chemistry. However, the true scene-stealer was Josh, played by Michael Hall D’Addario. The kid was hilarious; his sarcastic banter with Banks and Pine was great. He made me love all these characters much more.
The setting was different look at Los Angeles than we typically see in most movies, which was refreshing. It showed where normal (non-celebrities) live and work in LA. It also showcased special little eateries and establishments that probably are popular with locals and something new to everyone else.
The most surprising thing about People Like Us is the ending. It had a very good ending. It was poignant and satisfying. Frankly, it elevated People Like Us from a good to great movie, in my opinion. I can see this movie easily missing many people’s radars when it releases, but don’t let it! Take a break from the big summer blockbusters, and check out this flick!
People Like Us hits theaters June 29th.
Q&A with star Chris Pine and writer/director Alex Kurtzman
I was lucky to attend a post-screening Q&A with Chris Pine and Alex Kurtzman. Both men provided much insight about People Like Us and their work in it. For those who don’t know, Alex Kurtzman is a pretty notable producer in Hollywood. Some of his credits include Fringe, Cowboys and Aliens, and the last Star Trek film. People Like Us is his directorial debut and is very loosely based on his life.
Watch snippets of the Q&A in the video below:
Thanks for reading and watching!