Pine and Banks show dramatic range in “People Like Us”

No one is perfect. Family definitely isn’t. Both are the driving forces behind the Alex Kurtzman-directed drama People Like Us starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks. As Sam and Frankie, two very flawed people who would eventually find out that they share the same father after he dies of cancer, Pine and Banks show a bit of dramatic range here. Both share the same feelings towards their father—Sam grew up with his father but resented his detachment, while Frankie is resentful for being the one her father seemingly was never going to acknowledge even existed. The heaviness of their stories revolving their shared father allow both actors to display a bit of dramatic chops—particularly Banks. Also in the film is Michelle Pfeiffer, who has a nice supporting role in the film as Pine’s mother.

Although the film plays a bit on clichés with the main characters (troubled pre-teen kid; struggling single mom; selfish prodigal son), it shines when Pine and Banks share the screen and in no time form a bond like only family could (granted, the film takes the whole, secretive “I can’t tell her yet that she’s my half-sister” route during these scenes). But nonetheless, despite its imperfections, People is a good family drama about flawed people who would ultimately discover the importance of finding family, as well as acceptance in the choices we make in life.

3 ½ out of 5 stars

About People Like Us:

After his father dies of cancer, a man discovers and meets up with the sister he never knew about, which would eventually lead both siblings to re-examine their perceptions about family and life choices.

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