Based upon a true story, “People Like Us” is billed as a romantic comedy, but it’s NOT your typical romance or comedy. It stars Chris Pine as Sam who is a silver-tongued salesman who specializes in bartering surplus goods. He’s so intent on making a quick buck that he ignores his phone when his mom keeps calling him but finds out when he arrives home, from his girlfriend, that she was calling him to tell him that his father had passed away. Living in New York, a continent away from Los Angeles where he grew up, his girlfriend immediately makes arrangements for them to fly to California for his funeral. When they prepare to check in at the airport, Sam discovers that he apparently has forgotten his wallet at home. Of course, they are unable to fly without his ID, but when they go back to the car, disappointed they are going to miss his father’s funeral, his wallet falls out of the glove box. It is too late to make their original flight, but they take a later flight, arriving too late for the funeral.
It’s at that point that you begin to realize that the relationship between Sam and his parents was strained, to say the least. Sam’s dad, Jerry, had been a music producer/promoter and had been much more devoted to his career than he had ever been to his family, and Sam had always resented it. When Sam is contacted by his dad’s lifelong friend and attorney about settling his estate and the will, he sees an opportunity to get his hands on some money, which he sorely needs due to some shady dealings he’s made which has resulted in an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission back in New York. But when he meets with the attorney, he is posthumously tasked by his father with delivering $150,000 cash to a nephew and his mother, Sam’s sister, who he never knew existed.
Thus begins Sam’s moral dilemma. Take the money and run or search out the sister he never knew and perform his father’s final request, in spite of his own financial needs and his contempt for his dad. I really enjoyed seeing this latest movie with Chris Pine. The acting is great, the storyline is well written with adequate character development to let you get emotionally invested. Michelle Pfeiffer gives the level of performance you typically expect from Diane Keaton with empathy and sincerity. Chris Pine as Sam shows he’s much more than just a pretty face, but the true scene stealer is Michael Hall D’Addario who plays Josh, the bad-boy son of Elizabeth Banks’ character, Frankie.
I really enjoyed that it isn’t your typical sappy romantic comedy between a man and woman who end up either together or not. Frankie and Sam being sister and brother as the primary love interests give it a very interesting twist but there’s also the mother-son sub-plot as well as Sam and Hannah, played by Olivia Wilde. We clapped when the credits rolled, which is rare for a romantic comedy movie.
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