The missus and I had a date afternoon/evening for the Fourth, foregoing the usual neighborhood bash at the pool, the only point of interest there being to watch the older set get pathetically hammered. So off we went, to see People Like Us, and then dinner at Applebees.
The story begins as a deceptively Hollywood one: a cash strapped young sales guy named Sam learns his father has died, only to receive a toilet case holding $150 large with a note from his father's lawyer requesting Sam take care of a woman and her child – Pop's daughter and grandchild from an over-the-fence affair. The movie then preoccupies itself with Sam's efforts to learn whether his half-sister deserves the money, and then fessing up that they're siblings.
I'm already going long, so here's my bottom line: the dialogue sparkles (along with the rest of the script writing), the plot is byzantine but believable, and the end result is heartwarming without being maudlin. On our way to Applebees afterwards, we weighed People Like Us against last year's heavyweight flick, The Descendants. Our judgment? People Like Us is way better. If it doesn't get quite a few nods come Oscar time, you have my permission to diss the awards process.