People Like Us
After having worked as a writer and producer on Transformers, Star Trek, Alias and Cowboys & Aliens, Alex Kurtzman makes his feature film directorial debut with family drama People Like Us.
Inspired by real events, People Like Us had the writers building up the characters and plot for almost seven years, after which Kurtzman found it unnatural to hand the project off to somebody else. His past experience as producer did not benefit the film, which is shot like an action movie, featuring an opening sequence that is disorienting – if not disturbing – for such an intimate story.
It’s in this section that we first meet Sam (Chris Pine, Star Trek), a troubled New York salesman, who one day finds himself in big trouble as his latest deal collapses, his boss threatens to fire him, and the Federal Trade Commission investigates him. To top it off, that same day his father dies. Accompanied by his girlfriend Hannah (Olivia Wilde, Cowboys & Aliens), Sam makes his way to Los Angeles, where his mourning mother (Michelle Pfeiffer, Hairspray) welcomes him with a slap in the face. His disappointment turns to mystery when he finds his father’s hidden $150,000 stash with a last will note: “deliver it to Josh Davis” (Michael Hall D’Addario).
The strengths of Alex Kurtzman´s debut are, without doubt, the cast and the collaborative style and great the instinct with which he directs them. Appreciable is the use of L.A. – not for its iconic landmarks or tourist attractions, but for its more offbeat neighbourhoods where the characters live, work, eat out, suffer and struggle with everyday life and emotions. That take on the film makes it resonate even more with the public, who have been invited to enter the very personal life of the main characters – just normal people, like we all are.
People Like Us is certainly not a remarkable piece of cinema but such a level of acting will surely get Kurtzman into the director’s chair again.
People Like Us is released in select cinemas on 9th November 2012.
Watch the trailer for People Like Us here: