Chris Pine plays 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.
Based on events of the writer-director Alex Kurtzman’s life, People Like Us is a new look at the word family.
I remember distinctly thinking while I was watching the first 10 minutes of the movie and seeing Sam, the main character, and thinking, “wow, and he’s supposed to be the guy we are rooting for?” Sam is not even remotely likeable to begin with. He is the picture of a manipulating salesman, and despite his loving girlfriend, he just seems to be running from something. Then the phone call happens. His dad had died and he needs to go home, except he does everything possible to NOT go home. But his sweetheart of a girlfriend gets him there anyway. Then we see Sam’s mom, angry, reserved…and she slaps Sam. Wow. Right away we know, this family is not doing well.
As the story unfolds, Sam discovers that he has a half sister, and not only that, he has to give her $150,000 that his dad left with instructions to “Take care of them.” This is when the journey begins. He meets Frankie, his long lost sister, only she is unaware that he knows about her. He enters her and her sons life and suddenly, ssuddenly you begin to see him in a better view.
Frankie, though, is a bit of a mess. A recovering alcoholic who bartends and a pre-teen son, too smart for his age and yet still has that child innocence. What happens in the rest of the movie will make you laugh, will make you cry (a lot.. bring tissues) and overall, will make you want to call your mom or your sibling and just say Hi.
Ultimately, People Like Us is about family and coming to terms with loving them, and yourself, despite the many mistakes and broken roads life may throw at you.
People Like Us opens Today and is rated PG-13 with a running time of 1 hour 55mins.
Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. I was invited to a media screening. All opinions are 100% my own.