Wednesday, August 8, 2012
REVIEW: People Like Us
People Like Us
Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks
June 29, 2012
1 hour 55 minutes
In case it hasn't been shoved down your throat in the past few Adam Sandler "comedies," family is a very important aspect in one's life. The conflict in most family themed films is that there is a problem between two or more arguing members of a family. However in the case of 'People Like Us,' the conflict in the family is that a brother and a sister never knew that the other existed. This happens to be something that really hasn't been done much before until now, and that alone had my attention. What got me worried is that the first time director of this movie, Alex Kurtzman, has written some insane sci-fi movies like 'Star Trek' and the first two 'Transformers' films, so it's a bit weird to see him go from that to directing, co-writing, and producing this movie. The thing though is, this movie for some reason or another actually works. Despite looking like a typical family drama that comes out every few months, 'People Like Us' is an emotional, compelling, and engaging drama that will probably be looked over as the year goes on.
Sam is a successful businessman who is currently down on his luck. His father has recently passed away, but what he leaves Sam isn't for him. He's given $150,000 to give to a woman and kid he's never met before. This woman and son just so happen to be Sam's unknown sister Frankie and his nephew Josh. Now Sam must find a way to give the money to Frankie and Josh, despite Frankie not wanting anything to do with the father that abandoned her, while not telling her that they are brother and sister. Things get complicated on the way, but that's what to expect from this type of movie.
The acting in this movie is nothing short of great. Chris Pine gives the best performance of his career so far as Sam. In the beginning, he is the same old Chris Pine that we all have come to know, otherwise known as the fast talking, sarcastic douche who is down on his luck. However unlike his previous roles, Pine's character becomes more of a realistic human being with true emotion rather than the funny asshole we all love because he makes us laugh. As great as Pine is, Elizabeth Banks steals the show as Frankie. Banks has been mostly in comedies and has never really shown her true acting abilities until now. She does have some funny moments, but it's the hard hitting dramatic moments that make this underrated actress shine. In fact, Banks has the ability to send the audience into tears during the final act of the film. The supporting cast, which includes Michelle Phieffer and Olivia Wilde, are all good in the movie, but they don't shine like how Banks and Pine do.
'People Like Us' came and went in the theaters, and that was something kind of expected from this movie. It's not something worth going to see in a theater at all; rather it's a movie that probably could have been a Lifetime movie that people would watch on TV. While the movie is like a Lifetime film, it is a damn good one if I can say so myself. This movie is a sweet, heartbreaking, and touching drama that hopefully will find a good home at Redbox or On Demand when it comes out. Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks give the performances of their careers. The story is well crafted, with a sweet twist that comes at the end of the film. Overall, this is just a great family drama that deserves to be seen. It won't win any Oscars, but you won't regret seeing it once the credits start rolling.
PREVIEWS YOU MAY SEE:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
This Is 40
The Odd Life of Timothy Green