People Like Us Reviews
I loved Pine and Banks together on screen. They flowed well together making is very easy to believe they had a close connection. I think Michael Hall did a great job in this. He held his own with these actors. I look forward to see how he does in future films.
The ending was really sweet. It couldn't have ended in an any better way.
It is a great family drama. I will definitely be seeing this again.
I was completely blown away by this movie and by every single performance. If I were an Academy member and I saw this film I would immediately place the names Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks and Michelle Pfeiffer at the very top of my Oscar nominations lists. Honestly, everyone is just that good in these roles especially Banks. Hers is the best performance I've seen this year bar none. The movie itself is so wonderfully written and packs true emotional resonance. The plot may sound cliché but nothing is handled in a predictable or unreal fashion. Secrets are revealed and it sheds new life on family and the meaning of love. To paraphrase: what seems important now really isn't and what's may seem not important now really is... there's a lot to digest about this film. One thing's for sure, if you "lean in to it" and give this movie your time and undivided attention you will not be sorry that you saw it. 5 Stars 2-7-13
Great Drama of 2012! This is an adult family film. It's PG-13 rating is not for nudity, swearing, or violence. It is rated that because it is a mature look at dysfunctional family problems. So while little of that is shown, they are referred to through the dialog, thus making it a mature film for teens and up. The musical score had some strong moments, particularly when they highlighted classic rock tunes from decades ago. There were periodic sentimental tunes, which seemed a bit manipulative. And there was a beach scene which was a bit deflated, because it was so typically pretty. I wish this film would have taken more risks, and navigated through an even murkier emotional landscape. The movie handles all the topics brilliantly, not making stupid gags to get people attention, not playing the banality speech to attract it's audience and not making stupid cliché moments to indulge in the Hollywood sequence of how a drama should be played to the masses, in exchange it give us characters that are truly alive. Overall, the movie is depressing, heartfelt, moving, inspiring and very much worth seeing.
Sam has been keeping his distance from his father. When his father dies, he goes home for the funeral, and to see if his father left him any money so that he could bail himself out of his latest jam. But he learns that his father left all of his money to someone named Josh Davis. He finds him and learns that he is the troubled son of a woman named Frankie. Sam thinks she is his sister. He doesn't give the money cause he needs it. He makes contact with her but doesn't tell her who he is. Eventually they become friends and even helps Josh with his problems.
While not being in any way creatively revolutionary("Brothers & Sisters" used to tell a similar story every other episode), "People Like Us" still succeeds, by going the route of understatement to detail the complexity and messy nature of families. This starts with the opening shorthand gestures to introduce its characters and closes neatly enough, with just enough openings at the end to denote the fact that not all of their struggles' have ended, especially economically. A lot of this works due to the quality of the performances as Chris Pine proves his mettle as a young actor while Michelle Pfeiffer does some of her best work by doing less.
On paper it's a story with promise but as this is from the writers of the "Transformers" trilogy, dramatic detail is traded for cliched montages underscored by seventies rock classics. It seems Kurtzman has been taking notes from Michael Bay and has adopted the same ADD style of film-making, all flashy edits and camera moves that seem to go nowhere. The general feeling is of an extended episode of one of those family drama shows that always seem to air on Sunday evenings. Perhaps Kurtzman should have hired W.G Snuffy Walden to score the film. The uncomfortable theme of a woman becoming attracted to a man she doesn't know is her brother is glossed over, lost among the hard rock and orange sunsets.
Pine is an admittedly charming screen presence but he lacks the range for this character and at times it seems he's on the verge of romancing Banks rather than just expressing brotherly feelings. Pfeiffer would seem at least ten years too young for her role, given the historical context of her back-story. The most convincing performance comes courtesy of Banks though you can't help wish they'd played the story more for laughs. Her stint on TV's "30 Rock" showed her to be a fine comic performer. Sadly for Banks, her character is paper thin, one of those remarkably good looking recovering alcoholics you only find in films of this ilk.
Kurtzman should stick to giant robots as he seems clueless when it comes to presenting convincing human characters.
So when I heard that Dreamworks was putting some money into a weepy family dramedy with the likes of Chris Pine, Michelle Pfeiffer and Elizabeth Banks, I figured this had better be the most amazing story ever told in order to get this one past the suits. Or perhaps the studios owed somebody a passion project in exchange for, I don't know, Captain Kirking up the joint?
Regardless, I wish I could say that PEOPLE LIKE US is the "Comic Book Killer" movie we've all been waiting for, but it's not. It's well-intentioned, slightly undeveloped, ferociously directed yet overly so, and filled with terrific performances....yet it adds up to a good, surprising cry at the end preceded by the classic "Aggressive Douche Learns To Tell The Truth And Be A Responsible Member Of The Human Race" storyline we've seen a gazillion times. Frankly, I would like for this storyline to play out just once amongst the entire population of Los Angeles, but, alas, I'm clearly dreaming.
Everybody acquits themselves nicely, the cards all fall into place as you would expect, and, and, and...God, this film is just so forgettable. I saw it over a month ago, didn't really care to write about it then, and frankly, I still couldn't care less. Alex Kurtzman, an established producer making his feature debut here, directs as if nobody is ever going to give him the gig again. It's a classic rookie mistake of putting way too much energy into every shot, leaving absolutely no room for restraint and breathing room. This is kinetic filmmaking, and I applaud his energy and enthusiasm...but it's in service of the wrong script and the wrong genre.
Maybe he felt that the only way to get butts in the seats was to fool people into thinking it was an action film. Trust me, the audience may be stupid sometimes, but without a gizmo in the poster, ain't no chance in hell they're seeing your drama, however shiny the gift wrap may be. This depressing state of affairs is far more interesting a topic than anything presented in this film...except for that ending. It's beautiful emotional and totally unexpected, filled with restraint lacking in so much of the film. So, see it for the ending, but just don't expect to remember the first 110 minutes.
This was described as a heartfelt drama but from a movie starring Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Jon Favreau and Michelle Pfeiffer, I was expecting a little bit more! It's not a bad movie, far from it, but it felt like a flat fizzy drink at the time and I needed to refresh myself to stay in the story. If you have some spare time, like a little bit raw cute/sweet soapy situations - maybe you could spare some time for this one... if you don't: consider other options.
Chris Pine's character reminded me too much of Tom Cruise's character in Rain Man and Ben Affleck's character in Bounce. Elizabeth Banks is great in the film. She definitely shines. She kind of reminded me of Gwyneth Paltrow's character from Bounce. Pine and Banks have a good on screen chemistry. It kind of reminded me of Affleck and Paltrow's chemistry in the film Bounce. Michael Hall D'Addario was miscast as Banks's son. Olivia Wilde is great in her supporting role. Michelle Pfeiffer stole the film in my opinion. She is terrific in every scene that she is in. I wanted to see more of her in the film.