OK for kids 14+
Sentimental drama is well acted but too mature for tweens.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that People Like Us is a drama that tackles mature themes, including adultery, abandonment, and the loss of a father. Starring two actors who are popular with both teens and adults (Star Trek's Chris Pine and The Hunger Games' Elizabeth Banks), the story follows two long-lost half siblings who discover each other after their father's death. Strong language includes a couple of "f--k"s (one of which is said by an 11-year-old), and a kid punches a classmate and blows up his pool as a joke. A single mother has a quickie with a friend (no nudity), and two adults kiss a few times. An alcoholic mentions her past struggles with substance abuse and promiscuity, and a dead man's many flaws (infidelity, lying, leaving a child behind) are discussed over and over again. Blended families may bristle at the way a man and his wife dealt with his child from an extramarital relationship.
- Families can talk about how People Like Us portrays parent-child issues. Which parent and child have/had the healthiest relationship? How are parents and kids typically depicted in the media?
- Does Josh seem like a believable 11-year-old? How does the movie depict tween angst? What are the consequences of his acting out at school?
- It seems like many movies are about misguided adults who become better people by getting to know a kid. Do you think there are enough multi-generational stories in movies?
The good stuff
Messages: Even though it's quite a sad story at first, People Like Us does have positive messages about the power of family, particularly brother-sister relationships. Siblings, the movie emphasizes, are the only people in the world who know what it's like to grow up with the same parent(s). Blended families should know that, in the film, a wife forced her husband to ignore the child he had from an extramarital affair; as a result, a half brother and sister grow up not knowing each other. Sam's journey is one of redemption, reconciliation, and forgiveness.
Role models: People Like Us is filled with flawed characters who still have something to offer viewers. Sam is a slightly unethical compulsive liar who eventually becomes a caring brother and loving uncle. Frankie is a former alcoholic who isn't sure how to manage her son, but she realizes by the end that what's important is being there for him.
What to watch for
Violence: Frankie beats up Sam and gives him a pretty obvious bruise on the eyebrow. Sam's mother slaps him after he misses his father's funeral. Josh punches a classmate and breaks his nose and also pours sodium in the pool, which causes a dangerous explosion.
Sex: Frankie has a quickie with her friend. They keep most of their clothes on but grunt and moan for the few seconds of the scene. Sam and Hannah kiss a few times. At one point, before she realizes they're brother and sister, Frankie attempts to kiss Sam.
Language: A couple of "f--k"s -- one said by an 11-year-old -- as well as "s--t," "bulls--t," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "damn," "d--k," "prick," "ass," "a--hole," "hell," "oh my God," and more.
Consumerism: Sam's iPhone makes several appearances. Other brands include Starbucks, Converse, Virgin America, Volkswagen Jetta, Entenmann's cookies, Los Angeles Times, and Minute Maid. A host of famous New Wave and classic rock artists are also mentioned: Elvis Costello, Joy Division, The Clash, Gang of Four, Television, Joni Mitchell, the Faces, etc.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the main characters is an alcoholic who's sober but discusses her past struggles with substance abuse. She's also a bartender, which sounds a bit unhealthy, but she's shown mixing and serving drinks (never having one), and she smokes a lot.
Fan Reviews provided by
People Like Us by chickatina3
This is truly a good movie,I liked it very much. Very well put together and great acting. Very realistic script. Sad at times .I could really relate to the situation . Wouldn't take younger children to it. I cried at the ending it was so good. So many families have suffered the same way this one did. The kid played his part really great and great writing for his parts too. Kept me laughing and relating to my own kids.
It's never too late for family. by ReikiRob
Saw it with my young teens and prompted a great talk about family and which grandparents and family members they look like.
Great movie that might help shed a little more light or understanding about the decisions we make in the complicated lives we live now, especially with divorce or infidelity.
A very powerful and uplifting ending to the movie.
Powerful and uncomfortable, sweet and ultimately redeeming by MickGee
This movie had a profound impact on me and I frankly find it hard to speak about it. I go to movies for the emotional connection to the characters (don't we all?) This hit very close to home for me. It made me consider my relationship with my adopted father. It made me wonder about my natural parents and what finding them may mean for all of us. It made me realize how important it can be to know that no matter what there is someone who believes in you. I LOVED Elizabeth Banks in this single mother role. I FELT her performance the whole time. Chris Pine and Michele Pfiefer also add a wonderful dynamic that made this movie for me. Don't miss Michael Hall D'addario, he was fantastic as the 'mad at the world' 11 year old. Fantastic!
I think this is a unique story told and acted in a way that everyone will relate to at some important point. So watch, laugh, cry, feel and learn. This film has great potential to speak about life, family and who we are to those who want to listen.
Nice change by dverrier50
It was a nice change from the suspense of the shoot 'um up movies. Probably more towards a chick flick but my husband was ok with it. I am glad I saw it. I felt the acting was well done in the movie.
Surprisingly Engaging by Rickaen
Interesting story lines coupled with engaging characters made this a surprise experience on opening night. Recommended for a two hour take-away without a lot of fluff.
People Like Us Will Like this movie by Darkola
I took my wife to see this movie, yes, it would probably fall a little into the chick flick catagory, but overall, it was a bit refreshing with the story, not the guy/gal fall in love type story most chick flicks fall into, but more of family type connection movie. Most the acting in this was very good, the only disappointment I had was with the kid, there wasnt enough put into his acting to really get me to feel any real emotion towards him, or his hardships as the other actors managed to pull off. I'm not sure if this was originally a book or not, but I was really impressed with the very ending of this movie, if I had to rate a movie based just on the last few minutes of the movie, this would have gotten a 4 of 4 stars from me, it was ingenious how they came up with this ending, and the little hints in the movie itself that led to the ending. The movie had a great story, really good acting, and it was emotional at points (wife cried), I'd give this 3 of 4 stars myself, enjoy :)
Very impressed by hortok
the actors in this drama did such a good job the director may never quit bowing to cries of 'encore.' Terrific casting. Chris Pine carries this movie very well for a new kid on the block. Pfieffer and Banks do exactly what we expect of two seasoned actors. Very touching film with some nice 'kabaam' moments, just when you need them. And of all things...hollywood seems to have come up with an original plot for this one. I wish there were enough story line to create a sequel just so we could see this group together again. Bank's young son was a great surprise in how well he fit into the story and took his part to the front. If you enjoy movies with great dialog backed up by strong acting, go now, today and then again next week.
Total Tear Jerker by dpaulwilliams82
This movie was absolutely amazing. I promise you that you will not regret seeing this movie. Chris Pine gives a performance that will awe you. Michelle Pfeiffer is her wonderful self and Elizabeth Banks stunning performance will stay with you long after the movie is over. The story line is extremely will done and will make you cry before the end. Guys this is a total chick flick and your woman will love you for taking her to see such a memorable movie.
Sick and unbelievable :o( by Smityrn
This movie is so unbelievable. Sam flirts with his sister from the first time they meet, you KNOW where this is going don't you! He knows it's his sister, she doesn't. She falls in love with him and not as a sister. He knowingly sucks her in. Brothers do NOT look at their sister like this guy looks at her, it's sick and unbelievable. I was so angry at him and the writers of this piece of crap. The only good thing in the movie was the performance/character of her son, Josh.
Wonderful Cast by dlmmarcum
The movie is well-acted by a talented cast -- which includes a lady with whom I work. Michelle Pfieffer is particularly good, and as beautiful as ever despite the haggard look she is supposed to have throughout the thing. Sadly, the script itself is a bit plodding. See it on TV.