Finally, in the midst of the frenzy of typical summer flicks is a drama that wreaks of reality.
People Like Us, (don't be fooled by the title this is not a coming-out film), stars (from Star Trek) as Sam, a New York marketing whiz kid, climbing the corporate food chain, who makes a devastating decision that doesn't even phase his cynical business suitof armor.
He is casual about costly mistakes, until it costs him. That night he discovers his mostly estranged father, an music producer, big in the '70s, died. Forced by his girlfriend played by the beautiful and intelligently-looking Olivia Wilde (Cowboys and Indians), to fly home for a funeral he intentionally misses.
His long-suffering widow mother is played by . Lovely to Pfeiffer her back on the big screen. Thank goodness she has had the good sense to apparently NOT drink the Hollywood Botox punch.She actually looks like herself. Of course, at her age 50-something, she has most likely had something of a plastic surgery done to maintain her youthful looks.
But at least not the bicycle pump of Botox. As Jacqueline Bisset told The View ladies, "they (celebrities that have Botox) don't even look good," and Kate Winslett as has said in an interview, "Don't even get me taking (about actors using Botox)."
Sam discovers family secrets and fortune that test him. It is established up front that he must delver funds, that he very much needs himself to an illegit sister he didn't know he had, Frankie, played by Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games).
Frankie doesn't know Sam exists let along a fortune that she needs more than Sam's world can realize. Sam's got the secret that his mother doesn't know, about a mistress and child and grandchild, played by child actor, Michael Hall D'Addario. Sam thought his life was miserable.
He's forced to discover how low life can be, as he eavesdrop on Frankie's life and befriends her son Josh. To add to this Sam has major avoidance issues. So will he or won't he, carry out his father's wishes, hurting his mother and his own wallet. It's played out with more depth and a quick synopsis, as here for space. It is well worth the time, for lovers of feelings and issues.
And issues there are as Sam spys on Frankie to her A.A. meetings. Elizabeth Banks, who is reminiscent of a younger Elizabeth Shue in Leaving Las Vegas, gives believability to a child abandoned by her father.
Sam feels having his dad was no prize. Pfeiffer's characther in an endearing scene on top of Hollywood Hills provides the glue as a woman of great character does. Many scene are local adding some fun, including our own Henry's Tacos. Product placement, with the Orange Bang.