Has inheritance, long-lost sister; will prove hopelessly awkward.
What a sphinx of a title: People Like Us. At first glance, it gives nothing away about the movie, except perhaps that itprobably stars people and not anthropomorphic animals.
I hoped that the phrase “people like us” was not an attempt to convince us that single working moms with a drinking problem, daddy issues and a Sad Mark Duplass for a neighbor are people … like us!
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the damn movie’s about: wretched, sad folks with bad hookups are people, too.
The convoluted premise is that a richie-rich spoiled brat (Chris Pine) runs into some money problems when his estranged rich dad timely kicks the bucket. He expects inheritance, but the prodigal son receives none. That is, until his father’s lawyer dumps $150,000 into his lap to deliver it to his father’s love child, now a sister (Elizabeth Banks, here for Man on a Ledge redemption?) he never knew he had. Now it’s a struggle with his conscience whether or not to tell his sister, who’s struggling to make ends meet with a smart mouth kid in tow.
And then it gets creepy, with Chris Pine’s character barging into his half-sister’s life and begins to pick up her kid from the record store and buy her groceries. In any other situation, this would be seen as a romantic gesture (or a serial killer move), so do we blame sister dearest when she tries to kiss her brother?
Oh, right—she doesn’t know that they’re related, because he’s afraid that if he does tell her, he’ll lose the $150k.
Everybody gets angry at each other because no one talks or uses reason like adults. Over a hundred years of psychoanalysis, and we’re still all about crazy repression. A simple glance at the credit card he was using to pay for the drinks at her bar might have rendered this a bad short film, but hey, along with That’s My Boy, it looks like shitty filmmakers (director Alex Kurtzman, a man partially responsible for the second Transformers) are making this the summer of incest.
PEOPLE LIKE US
OPENS | 6.29.12
RATED | PG-13