Movie Review – ‘People Like Us’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Last Friday, I saw the film ‘People Like Us’ on Disney+. This was an unusual film to see. Even though the film was released by Disney, it was through Touchstone Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures. I’m not sure I would like to class it as a Disney film, due to the subject matter and its semi-adult content.

‘People Like Us’ is essentially a drama film. It features Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Michael Hall D’Addario and Michelle Pfeiffer. The film focuses on the story of a young man named Sam Harper who discovers he has a sister in Frankie Davis, as he tries to form a connection with her.

Ideally, this would make a good drama film about family members connecting with each other. There are dysfunctional families involved, but it would be great to see how certain members of these families try to connect with each other and discover things they didn’t know about each other.

Sadly, I don’t feel the scriptwriting is that great and that might be because two of the scriptwriters happen to be Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci. Yes! This film is delivered by the writers who worked on the first two ‘Transformers’ films by Michael Bay as well as the first two ‘Star Trek’ reboot films. 😦

This film also happens to be the directorial debut of Alex Kurtzman before he did 2017’s ‘The Mummy’ (That turned out well, didn’t it? 😀 ). I’ll give the film credit. It was interesting to see Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci tackling a drama film like this as opposed to writing a sci-fi franchise film.

However, the writing can be crude in terms of the dialogue given to characters, especially when it involves bad language and talking about sex. The film’s second half is better than the first half, as I was getting into the characters by that stage. I wondered what would happen to Sam and Frankie. 🙂

Chris Pine plays Sam Harper, the son of Jerry Harper who happens to be a music producer. Chris Pine is well-known for playing Captain Kirk in the ‘Star Trek’ reboot trilogy and he played Steve Trevor in ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’. He was also a Spider-Man in the ‘Spider-Verse’ film.

Elizabeth Banks plays Frankie Davis, Sam’s sister and the daughter of Jerry Harper. Elizabeth Banks played Betty Brant in the original ‘Spider-Man’ film trilogy with Tobey Maguire. It was interesting to see how Sam and Frankie met and got to know each other before it’s revealed they’re both siblings.

Olivia Wilde plays Hannah, Sam’s girlfriend. I like how the relationship is developed between Hannah and Sam and how she forgave him for being so selfish in the film. Michael Hall D’Addario plays Josh, Frankie’s son. The relationship between Josh and her mother isn’t so great when we first meet them.

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Lillian, Sam’s mother in the film. Michelle is well-known for playing Catwoman in ‘Batman Returns’ and she’s been in ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ and 2017’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. The relationship between Sam and her mother isn’t smooth-running as the film develops.

There’s also Mark Duplass as neighbour Ted; Phillip Baker Hall as estate attorney Ike Rafferty; Jon Favreau (who’s like in one scene of the film) as Richards, Sam’s boss; and Sara Mornell as psychiatrist Dr. Amanda. All the cast deliver good performances of their characters and they’re pretty engaging.

I just wish the choices made in terms of how the characters got developed were handled differently in the film. This is especially when Sam stalks Frankie and her son early on the film when he could’ve just said “Hello” at their front door. But then, people can behave differently handling these matters.

I wouldn’t call ‘People Like Us’ a great film, as I have issues with the writing provided by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Jody Lambert is another writer on the film) and the direction by Alex Kurtzman. Yet the performances of the cast including Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks are very good. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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