"The Sins of the Father Have Consequences"
What You Need To Know:
PEOPLE LIKE US inches painfully toward a measure of redemption. It also shows in a powerful way what can happen if a family gets too “modern.” However, PEOPLE LIKE US is loaded with plenty of vulgarity, drugs, alcohol abuse, and dishonesty. Also, there’s just enough lewd content to make it unacceptable.
(PaPa, LLL, V, SS, AA, DD, MMM) Strong pagan, rather mixed worldview with people just trying to get by, slight mention of God in a joke, and some redemptive content toward end; at least 33 obscenities and one taking of the Lord’s name in vain, including the one “f” word comes from a child; light violence as boy blows up a pool at school, gets in fights at school and is expelled, plus alcoholic mother slaps her son; strong sexual content includes father’s polygamous lifestyle is key in the movie’s premise and his daughter was so sexually active she has a son without knowing who his father is and in one scene has casual sex with her neighbor; no nudity; strong alcohol content includes two scenes at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings (for good reason) and major character is a barkeeper, plus several scenes of drinking; smoking and a wife and son get high on the left-over drugs from the deceased husband’s cabinet; and, dishonesty, bribing, threats of lawsuits to get one’s way.
PEOPLE LIKE US is the story of a family fragmented by a father’s sin and trying to deal with the aftermath. This modern family is vulgar, dishonest, and plagued with alcohol and drug problems, so MOVIEGUIDE® finds the movie excessive, even though the tale of misery moves toward a redemptive ending.
The movie opens with Sam (Chris Pine) trying to make big enough barter deals to get out of heavy debt. When an attempt to save some money on shipments of overstocked soup explodes a train car, Sam and his employer try to bribe their way out of trouble. Even as he attempts to deal his way out, Sam learns his father died and his mother wants him at the funeral across country.
Sam’s shady efforts to avoid going to his father’s funeral result in him showing up too late. His father’s lawyer gives him a shaving kit bag with $150,000 in cash in it and a note asking him to deliver it to a young woman and her son. Sam clearly wants to keep the money, but his curiosity leads him to look up the would-be recipient.
The woman, Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), turns out to be the mother of Josh. Josh has just blown up his school’s swimming pool with an extra curricular chemistry demonstration. Sam follows Frankie to an Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting where Frankie informs her alcoholic friends that her dad just died and the obituary failed to mention she was his daughter. Sam is shocked to learn Frankie is his sister.
Sam befriends Frankie and Josh without revealing his true relationship. As the story unfolds, viewers learn more about the father’s obsession with his work as a music producer and the immorality that led to a fractured family. Both children wound up thinking poorly of their father and have deep emotional scars. Frankie wound up so deep in drugs, sex, and alcohol she doesn’t even know who Josh’s father is.
One worthwhile note about the movie is that it shows in a powerful way what can happen if a family gets too “modern.” The father attempted a polygamous lifestyle and wound up destroying his relationships with everyone and raising children with major emotional and addiction problems.
The movie does inch painfully toward a measure of redemption, but is loaded with vulgarity, drugs, alcohol, smoking, dishonesty, and bribery. There’s also a scene of quick casual sex between Frankie and a neighbor. Movieguide® finds the content excessive and recommends that the filmmakers rethink what constitutes entertainment. This is the kind of movie you might expect from Lionsgate or the Weinsteins but it looks totally out of place coming from DreamWorks and Disney.