Sunday, October 7, 2012

People Like Us: Movie Review

Overly dramatic people that you won't like or care for.

Sam (Chris Pine) is estranged from his father because he thinks he cared more about his job than his son. Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) is estranged from her father because he abandoned her shortly after she was born. When the father dies, Sam learns for the first time that he has a half-sister, a single mother who has been left more on her own than he was. “People Like Us” is Sam’s journey to connect with his new relatives after a sum of money is left in the will for Frankie. 2012

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman

Screenplay by: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jody Lambert

Starring: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks

It starts with drama, dragging out the introduction of Sam for as long as we could stand him. I was vaguely familiar with Chris Pine going in, optimistic for what he could do, so I was prepared to like him. But I will warn you now, if you don’t care for him at all in the first five minutes, you never will. The introduction of Elizabeth Banks was much better. Finally using sex appeal and comedy to the film’s advantage. (You would think the casting of Michelle Pfeiffer was for that purpose as well, but apparently not. She had no purpose). But back to Banks, she had a much more entertaining role than the others were given, and a more legit role. She wins the who-had-a-worse-father argument hands down.

At this point we could have made Sam a more interesting character. He hates his father for the typical absent reasons, choosing his work over him, but then he meets Frankie, and realizes his father was even worse than he thought, abandoning her for a brand new family. The film doesn’t do much with that dynamic opting instead for the drama involved with Sam squirming his way into the life of Frankie and her son. And then more drama and more drama.

Being classified as a dramedy, I was waiting for some desperately needed comedy. Banks had a few lines at the beginning, but after that they expected us to like these characters, care for them, feel sympathetic for them all because they’re trying to live life the best they can. That gets old quick. The filmmakers must have forgotten that the fastest way to one’s heart is through their funny bone. Some well-timed comedy goes a long way in making a drama digestible and that was the biggest mistake for “People Like Us”.