I had the opportunity to take a group to see People Like Us at a free sneak preview screening a month and a half before it is released in theaters. I had never even heard of the movie and generally when a movie is being previewed this early they are either still tweaking it and need feedback or are having a hard time figuring out how to market the movie.
The movie stars Elizabeth Banks, Chris Pine and Michelle Pfeiffer so I figured it had an OK shot at being good, so me and 7 of my friends ventured out to see it.
Here was the description we received before seeing the movie: “From DreamWorks Pictures comes “People Like Us,” a drama/comedy about family, inspired by true events, starring Chris Pine as Sam, a twenty-something, fast-talking salesman, whose latest deal collapses on the day that he learns his father has suddenly died. Against his wishes, Sam is called home, where he must put his father’s estate in order and reconnect with his estranged family. In the course of fulfilling his father’s last wishes, Sam uncovers a startling secret that turns his entire world upside down: He has a 30-year-old sister Frankie whom he never knew about. As their relationship develops, Sam is forced to rethink everything he thought he knew about his family — and re-examine his own life choices in the process.”
Verdict: I enjoyed it.
The key to why this is screening so early is the statement in the description “drama/comedy”, which leaves the studio in a bit of a quandary about how to properly market the movie.
The movie is a compelling, tear-jerking drama that does have some humorous moments, but is definately a drama. The story is well formed and explores the situation of how do you approach a sibling (you just found out you had) that has hated you for their whole life since your father left them for you, his “other family”. The performances are quite good and convincing and I especially appreciated the young actor that plays Elizabeth Banks son, Michael Hall D’Addario (we will be seeing a lot more from him I am sure). A little slow in spots, but that is made up for by the well-placed sprinkling of humor.
This is also one of the roles that is securing Michelle Pfeiffer as the go to actress to play the mom of adult children (and who wouldn’t want a mom that looks like her!)
Bottom Line Rating: B+
A well done movie. Oscar winner? No. Worth the price of admission and enjoyable? Yes.