People Like Us will have to fight for attention and word of mouth. But it’s a very satisfying departure from the loud, crazy, crude, animated, 3D, superhero, star-studded or simply bizarre flicks that tend to dominate the summer box office. It’s a nice adult-themed PG-13 drama/comedy that’s inspired by true events, which makes it all the more intriguing.

Chris Pine plays Sam, an irresponsible fast-talking salesman who discovers, upon his estranged father’s death, that he has a sister Frankie (Elizabeth Banks) and a nephew that he never knew about. Sam is tasked with tracking them down and delivering a secret cash inheritance. But the journey proves more challenging than expected as he struggles to come to grips with his past, with the father he barely knew, and with his mother (a gracefully aging Michelle Pfeiffer) who may or may not have been aware of his father’s love-child.

Michael Hall D’Addario plays Frankie’s smart but troubled son, Josh. I’d never seen or heard of D’Addario, but he’s definitely one to watch for down the road.

Banks and Pine deliver sweet, under-stated performances. And while the movie has its moments of predictability – especially near the end – the easy chemistry between Pine and Banks generally makes it all worthwhile.


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