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Rated PG-13 for language, some drug use and brief sexuality
posted Jul 13, 2012 - 8:48:53pm
Movies have warned us time and time again that if your dad is a famous musician/music producer, you’re probably a lovechild who’s going to get ditched at some point. But aside from propagating that hackneyed story, People Like Us is a really sweet family drama.
Inspired by true events, the film follows Sam (Chris Pine), who is about to get sued for running some type of shady bartering business, and Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), a single mother who has trouble controlling her smart-mouthed son, Josh (Michael Hall D’Addario), as well as working all time. These two have nothing in common except that they both had a crappy relationship with the same man, their father, the music producer. Once he dies, Sam is left a bag of $150,000 cash and instructed in his father’s will to deliver it to Frankie, who, as it turns, is his sister. But due to his own legal problems and the fact that his father left him no money, he toys with the idea of keeping it for himself.
Popcorn represents how fun a film is to watch—how funny it is, how exciting the special effects are, and how enjoyable the story is on repeated viewings. The perfect popcorn movie would be one that never got stale regardless of how many times you’ve seen it.
Chris Pine is really great at playing the lovable jerk. Although his character is a bit of a selfish brat, we pity his inability to be close to anyone without messing it up. We don’t want him to end up totally off the hook for everything he has done, but we do want him to learn a lesson and maybe get his family back. Elizabeth Banks proves to be a great match for his character, as she is in a worse position in life than he is and handles it ever so gracefully.
The impressive supporting cast includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Olivia Wilde and D’Addario, who are all great in their roles. Pfeiffer gives a very sincere performance as Sam’s damaged mother, who also deals with her not-so-fond recollections of Sam’s father, but honors his memory nonetheless. Wilde has a small but noteworthy role, playing Sam’s girlfriend who is tired of being on the receiving end of his every lie. And breaking the streak of irritating little actors in dramas, D’Addario portrays a juvenile delinquent as genuinely as if he really were one.
Releasing this movie in the heart of summer blockbuster season wasn’t a great marketing move, as it doesn’t really stack up with the rest. Obviously, if you have to choose between this and The Amazing Spider-Man or Moonrise Kingdom, don’t pick People Like Us. But, if you’re in the mood for something slower and a little more heartfelt, you won’t be disappointed.
Stars & Popcorn grade: 3 1/2 stars, 2 1/2 popcorn.
— Theresa is an undergrad at the University of Florida majoring in English with a focus in Film and Media Studies. Originally from Miami, she left her home town to study the art form she cherishes most. When Theresa isn’t out searching for a good movie to watch, she is either writing, studying or knitting.
Sponsored by Liebe Entertainment Group, Marketplace 8. Click here to see showtimes for People Like Us
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