Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Take the good with the bad.

The other evening my teenage daughter and I watched a movie we rented from the video store. She had previously seen the previews for it but I hadn't even heard of it. I took a gamble not knowing much about it. (Sometime taking a gamble goes well, sometimes it doesn't.) This particular movie was a bit of both.

People Like Us (2012) PosterWe watched People Like Us starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks.

Plot Blurb: While settling his recently deceased father's estate, a salesman discovers he has a sister whom he never knew about, leading both siblings to re-examine their perceptions about family and life choices.

The movie was littered with dysfunctional people and relationships - which isn't bad - but along with that always comes unhealthy ways of dealing with your problems. This movie is no exception - for that very reason I am NOT recommending this movie as a family-friendly option.


  • a writer - you should consider watching this movie for the sake of the very last scene.
  • a movie buff that likes stories that aren't predictable or you like satisfying endings without being a Happily Ever After - then you should consider watching it too
There are some very redeeming qualities about this film that do inspire and challenge. In fact, as the credits
rolled on this movie I had tears gracing my cheeks. Not because it was sad. Not because the ending was sweet. But the reason I had tears was because of the way the story was scripted. It had set the movie up for a PERFECTLY sweet ending. As a writer I was inspired. I was awed. And honestly, I was ... jealous.

I can't possibly touch on the ending without spoiling it for you. There is one clue in the entire movie that points to the ending. I don't want to ruin it for anyone.

So, suffice it to say, if you think you can look past the drug use, language, and constant dishonesty that freckles these characters than give it a whirl. (Not to mention the too-witty twelve year old boy caught in the middle of all this dysfunction who has trouble showing adults respect.)

Here is Focus On The Family's Plugged In reviewer's closing comments. See the entire review here.

When a studio invests time and money into creating a tale with solid things to say about the joyful rewards of good family choices and relationships, I, as a writer for Plugged In, a Focus on the Family publication, am generally the first to stand up and applaud. That's especially true when that pic also features some strong, emotionally accessible acting, and a story that keeps you connected and hoping for a happy ending. 
On the other hand, as that Plugged In reviewer, I have other duties to fulfill, too. So before I do my clapping, let me make sure to stress that this PG-13 film about family isn't actually a family film. It's more of an adult rumination on how bad parenting and stupid personal choices can really mess up everyone around you. This is a film that's peppered with foul language, longwinded deceit, heavy drinking, and examinations—onscreen and off—of some pretty selfish and foolish behavior. 

My Lucky Elephant - DVDIf you truly want to rent a movie for the family check out my upcoming reviews for Here Comes The Boom and Abel's Field. Or try Dove Foundation's latest hit out on DVD - My Lucky Elephant. I haven't seen it and have no recommendation other than the little white dove. Review and trailer here.

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