‘People Like Us’ Demonstrates Importance of Family

A movie with the title “People Like Us” seems destined to be cliche and uninteresting. However, “People Like Us” proves to be not only engaging, but also heart-wrenching  as a drama about the importance of family.

The film follows a man named Sam (Chris Pine), who learns only after his father’s death that he has a sister. While Sam struggles to come to terms with the fact that his father almost entirely cut him out of the will, his newly discovered sister Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) and her son are supposed to receive a large sum of money from the estate.

One of the best elements of the movie is how well the directors captured both the struggle of family and the ties that bind relatives together. The relationship between Sam and his mother is touching. Michelle Pfeiffer, who plays Sam’s mom, and Pine do an excellent job at showing how despite their disagreements, the two truly need one another. “People Like Us” does a great job of showing that no matter what happens, families have unbreakable bonds.

The characters are well thought-out and easy to connect to. The writers do an excellent job at explaining each person’s motives. Almost all of the main characters make some sort of mistake, but the viewer is able to forgive them because their actions are understandable. For example, much of the movie is taken up with Sam’s many missteps, both with his family and with his work. It takes him most of the way through the movie to admit to Frankie that he is her brother, but because of how challenging it is for Sam to make the right decisions, viewers are able to commiserate with him.

Despite some more uplifting parts, “People Like Us” is a tough movie to watch. The vast majority of the screen time is spent on the difficulties that Sam faces and it is hard to watch him continuously make mistakes. While this does succeed at creating a touching movie, there are parts where the writers go a little overboard. Around the middle of the movie, there are so many different things wrong with Sam’s life that it is hard to follow all the separate plotlines. Viewers only feel consternation, rather than sympathy for the characters.

However, by the end of the movie, these various plot lines are resolved and viewers are left with a truly poignant film about the fundamental power of family.