People Like Us is one of those “inspired by true events” movies, which makes you wonder how you missed the story of the famous record producer who died and left $150,000 to a daughter his family didn’t know he had. It’s a nice setup for a movie, though, and this is a very earnest film—mostly in a good way. But when the dramatic family tension ratchets up, you kind of wish Chris Pine (Star Trek) and Elizabeth Banks (Zack and Miri Make a Porno) weren’t in the lead roles. They’re fine while the characters establish a relationship, but they’re just not cut out for the heavy stuff. J.J. Abrams acolyte Alex Kurtzman has chosen good warm-up material for his debut, and he attracted a nice cast—Michelle Pfeiffer and Olivia Wilde join Pine and Banks—but it lacks the oomph it needs to be truly memorable.
Director: Alex Kurtzman
Producer: Robert Orci, Bobby Cohen, Clayton Townsend and Alex Kurtzman
Cast: Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde, Jon Favreau, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael D'Addario, Philip Baker Hall, Mark Duplass, Devin Brochu, Barbara Eve Harris and Dean Chekvala