Movie Review: “People Like Us” – … But I Do Not

Written by Jesse Gelinas August 01, 2012

I didn’t really know what to expect with this movie. Here we have a family drama starring the always amazingly average Chris Pine and the always none-too-subtle Elizabeth Banks, with a supporting cast featuring pretty-face-of-the-week Olivia Wilde, gracefully fading Michelle Pfeiffer, and… Jon Favreau for some reason. And all of it produced, written, and directed by the two guys who’ve given us such action-packed duds as “The Island” and “Transformers 2”. Now that I think of it, I really should have known what to expect.

**WARNING: Spoilers below**

The film follows the emotional journey of Sam (Pine), a New York corporate trader who’s recently gotten himself in hot water with the Trade Commission over one of his questionable dealings. But that’s not what the movie is about. Sam then finds out that his father, a notable record producer has passed away in LA, and Sam is forced to cope with this sudden loss. Actually, his father was estranged, so that’s not what it’s about either. Sam then finds out he’s not getting any money and all the cash his father had is going to Sam’s nephew he’s never met, from a sister  (Banks) he never knew he had. I’m sensing a little “Rain Man” sprinkled on this plot. Only Tom Cruise 2.0 doesn’t get any rose bushes in this movie. He gets a shaving kit full of money. But he only gets to keep the kit.

Once the film gets to the actual plot, there is quite a bit of real drama going on. Sam’s sister is discovered to be a recovering alcoholic with a son, Josh, who she’s having trouble raising all by herself. Of course Sam does what any normal person would do and decides to keep the money for himself, while posing as a fellow alcoholic so he can cozy up to his sister and see what her deal is. Strictly by the book.

The acting isn’t awful. Pine and Banks are their usual, average selves, even though Chris Pine is honestly just too damn pretty for these supposedly “everyman” roles. There is a certain chemistry between the two leads that I did enjoy, even if it does stray a little too close to the edge of being incest. Pfeiffer plays the role as well as any former starlet would have, and shows that does still have something to offer Hollywood, and Wilde just kind of coasts as usual.

The story itself is where things start falling apart. I just didn’t care. It was all so tripe and cliché and filled with overly sentimental scenes that were just begging the audience to shed a tear. But I couldn’t muster it. It was just too much. The music was decent enough though, for what it’s worth. The always wonderful A.R. Rahman was totally wasted on this film, and I know his talents could have been better utilized elsewhere during the time he spent here. The director is quoted as telling Rahman that “the music can’t be epic,” and it really shows. He was obviously on a leash.

Honestly, the movie isn’t that bad, it’s just not very good. Kurtzman and Orci have seemingly opted for a change in pace and decided to stop making subpar action flicks and start making subpar family dramas. Honestly, I’m not sure which I prefer. Either way, we’re trading one snore-fest for another.

My Rating: 4.5/10

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Jesse Gelinas

After years attempting to escape the Matrix, Jesse has accepted his fate as a writer and Senior Editor. Now that's he finished with his film degree, it gives him something to do while waiting for the machines to get careless.

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Movie Review: “People Like Us” – … But I Do Not. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment