People-Like-Us-DI
2012 Running time: 114 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3
KA People Like Us

Synopsis

Ruthless New York salesman Sam (Chris Pine) comes up against deal he can't deal with when his estranged father's death reveals a 30-year-old half sister he never knew he had (Elizabeth Banks). Instinctively inclined to grab the $150,000 inheritance destined for her and her young son, he finds himself intrigued by his young nephew and slowly nurtures a friendship with his unsuspecting sibling. Celebrated screenwriter Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek, Transformers) makes an impressive directorial debut with a wryly touching tale of personal connections lost and found.

Director

  • Alex Kurtzman

Cast

  • Chris Pine

  • Olivia Wilde

  • Elizabeth Banks

  • Michelle Pfeiffer

  • Mark Duplass

Review

When we first meet thrusting New York 'facilitator' Sam (Pine) he's pretending he's lost his wallet to avoid taking a flight to Los Angeles for his father's funeral.

Apart from ducking a major family bereavement, he's also got to worry about a federal rap for criminally transporting a shipment of soup in an unrefrigerated train car through the heat of the Mexican desert.

He doesn't seem to be a nice chap, does he boys and girls?

Eventually arriving in LA too late for the service, he is surprised to learn from his music producer dad's lawyer that he has a half sister. Unsurprisingly, he toys with the idea of pocketing the $150,000 earmarked for her.

However, after trailing Frankie (Banks) from the cheap motel where she lives with her rebellious 11-year-old son Josh (D'Arrario) son to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, his fraternal curiosity overcomes his greed.

Engineering a chat with Josh in a record store where the youngster initially - and amusingly - suspects he's a paedophile stalker, Sam impresses the nipper with his musical knowledge of The Clash, The Buzzcocks and Television...and which order they should be played.

He also tees up a tentative friendship with the brittle and suspicious Frankie...with the inevitable dramatic premise that she thinks he's hitting on her.

As you might expect, screenwriter Alex Kurtzman's directorial debut is distinguished with a sharp script and some nice lines, including the assertion that Sam's dad shoulders the stigma of discovering Kajagoogoo.

It also provides the impressive Pine (whose early incarnation has the feel of a young Travolta) and Banks with some rich raw material and provides the latter with the strongest role she's had in an age.

In the interests of dramatic tension, Sam's deception is dragged out a tad too long and the narrative wades into the odd pool of sentimentality but a steady stream of acid barbs stops this descending into schmaltz and winds up rather affecting.

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