Sunday, July 1, 2012

People Like Us

Question: Do you ever go into a movie, you like it at first, then something happens that you can’t quite put your finger on, but something is just off? A semi-bad feeling hazes over your opinion of the film, and you hope it gets to the point or something because you are losing interest, and fast. However, you stay in the theatre and continue on hoping it will get better. It finally finishes and you sink deeper into the seat, perplexed at what the filmmakers were thinking. And then you realize you just didn’t like the film. Honestly, I hate it when that happens and it happened with People Like Us.

I am still confused about the movie. It did start off well. Chris Pine plays a salesman, of sorts. He’s a fast talking, smooth dude who can charm anyone to do business with him. I liked his character immediately. Then we meet Jon Favreau, his boss, and they have a funny conversation and I relax into the story.  All is good and then the pace slowed down and never quite picked back up.

Bottom line, the story is about one particular family, how the children were raised, death of a parent, not really knowing what certain family members did or did not do, and being bitter about it all. I had no problem with all that. Many films take on the "family misunderstood" theme and can tell a heart-warming story with decent resolutions. However, in People Like Us, the filmmakers kept trying to tug at the heartstrings and it became redundant. By the middle of the movie, I was bored and a little annoyed but I stuck it out. Unfortunately, the movie never got back to an authentic voice and I just didn’t care for it.

Most of the acting was appropriate to the story-line, I think. Chris Pine did a fine job with his character, but there was something off with Michelle Pfeiffer’s character or the way she played it. She portrays Chris Pine’s mother and most of her scenes were with her son. The mother/son relationship, although strained, was just hard to comprehend. I am still unclear how a mother could treat a son, even a selfish one like him, with such disdain, or what I took as disdain. See, I am still confused. I know family members don’t get along, for whatever reason, but the “reason” for all the strife in the family in People Like Us was bland and unendearing.

Elizabeth Banks was also in the film and she did a good job with what she was given. As I have said in past reviews, she normally takes on comedy roles, but her dramatic side is getting quite good. I think I understood her character the most. I won't say why but to hint at motherhood isn't an easy deal, so I could relate to some of her responses. However, her connection to the others in the film just pushed the over abundance of forced dilemmas in People Like Us to bore me.

Directed (and co-written) by Alex Kurtzman, DreamWorks SKG, 2012.

Starring: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jon Favreau, and Olivia Wilde.

Genre: Drama

My favorite thing about the film: The scene between John Favreau and Chris Pine in the beginning.

My least favorite part: The mother/son relationship. Plus, part of it reminded me of Rain Man. I just wanted something more original, I suppose.

Rating: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes

Review: 3 out of 10


Janene said...

Dang. I like both Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks and was hoping this would be a good movie. I'm keeping my chin up, though. Tonight I'm going to see "Magic Mike." I hear it's pretty good. I'm curious what your take on that one will be!

Tired of Previews said...

Yeah, I know. I like both of them as well. They both did a fine job but it should have been edited and...oh, got to stop...haha

Yes, I am gonna see Magic Mike on Monday. Really looking forward to that one. Keep hearing good things about it.