People Like Us is one of those films that flies way below the radar, but is worth but your time and money. Heartfelt, genuine, entertaining, and well-acted, People Like Us is a great film, and an even better drama.
Inspired by true events, People Like Us follows twenty-something Sam, who’s career is, as he likes to call it, a corporate barterer. He’s arrogant and selfish and oh-so confident in himself, that when he gets into trouble with the Federal Trade Commission, he barely knows what to do.
But when his dad dies, things take an interesting turn and Sam has to decide to give a hundred and fifty-thousand dollars to his supposed sister who he’s never heard of, or keep it for himself to pay off his many debts.
I’m going to keep the plot synopsis down to a very low degree, as this movie is best enjoyed with little knowledge of the story. What I will say however, is that People Like Us is a touching film about finding yourself, and the powerful love of family.
The basic premise (which, if you watched the trailer below, is spelled out for you), is one that could’ve easily become awkward and overly dramatic. However, the writers somehow managed to keep things interesting and more importantly, from the heart.
Where People Like Us really shines is how real it is. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie that felt so heartfelt and relatable and the characters are likable and quirky in their own ways. You can’t help but get caught up in their tale when they’re so easy to like.
Chris Pine is a great actor overall, and he does really well here, perfectly capturing the torn spirit of Sam. He’s both, at times, arrogant and sincere and his interactions with his girlfriend (played by one of favorite actresses, Olivia Wilde) his estranged sister Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), her son Josh (Michael Hall D’Addario) and Sam’s mom Lillian (Michele Pfeiffer) are all great and really add to the film.
Running at just under two-hours, People Like Us is the perfect length for the story being told, and the pacing is rather extraordinary. For a film like this, it can be easy to loose the viewer’s interest in all the dialogue and exposition, but I never found myself bored in the least.
Some of that is probably due to the outstanding acting of everyone involved. I can’t stress how well all the actors did, even young actor Michael Hall D’Addario was great.
In my opinion, a film’s character can either make-or-break the story, and People Like Us is a great example of how they not only add to the story, but make it all worthwhile.
It’s too bad this movie didn’t get more attention, as it’s really great and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m keeping this review short because the less you know about this movie, the more you’ll enjoy it.
However, if you like knowing more about what you’re getting into, then watch the trailer embedded above. But if you really want to be surprised, skip the trailer and just rent the movie. It’s a sincere, relatable story about family that is definitely worth at least a rent.