Opening Today: Dreamworks’ People Like Us #movie #review

No black people were harmed in the making of this movie. That’s because there were no black people in this movie. Wait, there was one in the airport. Now that we have that out of the way – the story in People Like Us transcends race, color, creed, nationality, socio-economic status… it is just part of… well… people like US!

I talked about this in my review of Silver Sparrow.  Ever been at the funeral of a family member, and there is someone there who looks just like the deceased… but you have never seen them before?  Ever been sitting too close to the grown ups table at Thanksgiving and heard the whispers about Uncle so-and-so and his other son?

The idea of the secret family, the “authorized” family, those “other” kids, those “other” women, and the hurt and broken people that flounder in the wake of a man’s indiscretions is not new or uncommon. People Like Us is a type of “what would you do” story that makes you think that very thing from the start.  My husband and I were invited to a pre screening of the movie in Chinatown, and we whispered those questions to each other throughout the film, while checking each other for tears.

I have a brother, one brother, that I really didn’t know until I was an adult. Yes, we grew up in the same house, with the same parents, but as kids, we just sort of… well… didn’t like each other much.  Oh I admired him – I thought he was super smart, and funny, and a great artist – but I just didn’t like him.  I didn’t like the idea of him.  I spent birth through fourteen as some lesser, female, cantankerous, version of him in other people’s eyes.  I was HIS sister, he wasn’t my brother.  Then he went off to college – and I kinda liked him.  He was cool, and smart, and way nicer when we didn’t have to fight over what was in the fridge.

I got to find out I was good at stuff, not just good because since we were related I SHOULD be good, but I was good at stuff – on my own.  I met people who knew me, and didn’t know him.  By college, when he came to visit me, he was Eva’s brother… YES!  By 21, we had somehow become peers, and the 4 years between us kinda disappeared.

Now in our 30’s, we are finally friends. It is almost as if we really didn’t even meet until I was 25.  Imagine that.

Here’s the synopsis:

From DreamWorks Pictures comes “People Like Us,” a drama/comedy about family, inspired by true events, starring Chris Pine (“Star Trek”) as Sam, a twenty-something, fast-talking salesman, whose latest deal collapses on the day he learns that 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 (Elizabeth Banks). 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.

I enjoyed this movie.  There were a lot of unexpected laugh out loud moments, but some unnecessary fancy camera work sometimes that seemed a little out of place.  It isn’t the type of movie that the hubby and I usually go to see together, but I am glad we did.  I won’t use words like “heartwarming” or “charming” or “feel good” movie – because the subject matter for me isn’t heartwarming at all.  It is kinda nightmarish.  I didn’t know my brother as a person, but I did know he existed.  I knew where he came from, and who he was, and our later bond was built on that.  I couldn’t imagine being faced with meeting ANOTHER sibling that I didn’t even know existed.  The writers as always had the option of wrapping the ending up in a neat little bow… or not… You’ll have to check it out to find out what they chose to do.

Bottom line – should you go see it?

Yep. It doesn’t have to be on a big screen, unless you really want to get up close and personal with Chris Pine (I mean, so close you can see the contact lenses in his eyes. Not. Kidding), or you want to see six feet of the bare legs and three feet of occasional cleavage of Elizabeth Banks.  I pretty much reserve big screens for action movies, 3D movies, and animation with crazy graphic detail.  Ladies, it is a really good date night movie, that your man will probably like, even if he won’t admit it.  Fellas, it is a really good date movie, but keep in mind that if any of this relates to you AT ALL (raised by a single mom, you are the “other” son, you recently met your secret sister) you could weep spontaneously.

Rated: PG-13

Gotta know your kid. I wouldn’t take my 13 year old to see it, but that is just me.  The language is a little much, and there’s some drug use and alcohol abuse.  That being said, I watched all of Eddie Murphy’s early stand up movies with my mom, so – if you don’t mind your kids hearing some colorful expletives – some from the youngest cast member, I guess it isn’t that bad.  The themes are mature though, so if your kid is fragile right now or has elements of this story playing out in his own life, proceed with caution.

Disclosure: My husband and I were given passes to the screening of People Like Us.  My opinions as always, are my own. For more information about sponsored posts, click on “About Socamom”.