Sunday, July 1, 2012

People Alone (Film Review: People Like Us)

"People Like Us" is that rarity in a summer movie: a film with no explosions, no special effects, not even magic mikes.  It's even too low key to be a Nicholas Sparks novel. Based on real life events from Director Alex Kurtzman's life, it is a story of a Type-A personality-affected man who finds out, after his father's death, that his father had a family, and he has a half sister. It's a simple enough story that should be more honest. It only isn't because the screenplay is full of holes, but you can more or less forgive that. The reason? Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks gives down to earth performances that will make you believe. I never thought Pine much of an actor before, but he holds his own here, and Banks, as a woman-of-the-world type, glows in all the scenes she is in. The two of them have such a comfortable chemistry I have to sometimes remind myself that their characters are and will not be romantically involved. A much braver film may have explored that option, but here they play it safe by having Pine's character have a girlfriend. Michele Pfeiffer, playing Pine's mother, is given an almost thankless role, though she works hard at what she is given, but you can still sense that she was bored with her role. In a lot of ways, I liked it more than "Magic Mike," which I also saw this weekend. This one is just a little more honest, and more adult in sensibility.

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