Thursday, July 26, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: People Like Us

Directed by:
Alex Kurtzman

Written by:
Alex Kurtzman
Roberto Orci
Jody Lambert

Chris Pine        Sam
Elizabeth Banks        Frankie
Michael Hall D'Addario    Josh
Michelle Pfeiffer    Lillian
Olivia Wilde        Hannah
Mark Duplass        Ted
Sara Mornell        Dr. Amanda
Philip Baker Hall    Ike Rafferty
Dean Chekvala        Jerry
Barbara Eve Harris    Mrs. Haney
David Burrus        Derek
Joseph Wise        Danny
Devin Brochu        Simon
Gabriela Milla        Lucy
Abhi Sinha        Manager
Jon Favreau        Richards

Sam’s a high-rolling agent for a corporate barter system. He’s doing well until he misses just one little detail—boxed tomato soup should not be shipped by train. Next thing he knows, he’s in serious trouble with his boss and the FDA.

The Devil surely is in the details here, because at the same time he’s getting reamed, he hears his father died. The last thing he wants to do is go to LA for the funeral. He almost manages to miss the trip, but the wallet he ‘misplaced’ in the glove box shows up.

He arrives in LA just to get slapped upside the head by his Mom for being late, for not being there, for a lot of things. The next smack is from the family attorney. There’s no money for him or his Mom, but his Dad left $150,000 for a sister he never knew he had and her son, Josh.

Sam’s got a dilemma. He could use that money. He’s $86,000 in debt and will probably have legal fees. But he goes to see the sister and her son….

This is one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen. The emotions and reactions were spot on and natural. The audience reacted with tears and laughter on cue.

People Like Us is not a film you’ll find easily. Our art house has it with limited times, but I suspect when the awards come out, you’ll definitely see more of it. Here’s just a sample of one of the scenes between Sam and Josh, his nephew: 

The 6 Rules To Live By

Very seldom do I walk out of the theater and see a knot of strangers standing together raving about the star’s performance. That’s precisely what happened when we left People Like Us. Folks were saying Chris Pine could do much more than action films. I had an inkling of this after Bottle Shock and he certainly held his own with Denzel Washington in Unstoppable. But, here we see Pine’s got the chops for drama. And we better be watching out for Michael Hall D’Addario. If he stays in films, he’s going to be a heartbreaker. Well, he already was as Josh.

Part of the reason the film’s so real is that it’s based on the true story of screenwriter Alex Kurtzman’s discovery that he had a half-sister.  Below is an interview to tell you more: 

The Basis For The Movie aka The REAL Story

Sometimes, the best stories come straight from the heart. Write what you know is very good advice for anyone who wants to succeed as a writer. This film definitely deserves some accolades.

Now, for the rating. This film was definitely worth full price even with the uncomfortable art theater seating for both the spouse and me. I don’t think I’ll purchase the DVD simply because I’m not that big a fan of drama. Those of you who enjoy family drama may well wish to add the film to your collection.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, July 2012


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