What I Learned From The Film People Like UsChristine Coppa
Last weekend my friend and I watched the film People Like Us On Demand. I was invited to the press preview (but had work at the mag) and had dreams of seeing this in theaters with friends, or even solo, but my working single mom status did not allow for such luxuries—I don’t think any mom has time for movies that aren’t rated G, right?
The last movie I saw in a theater was Brave. After the jump I’m going to share plot points and what I learned from this modern family film. Spoiler Alert!
Chris Pine plays Sam. Elizabeth Banks plays Frankie. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Lillian. What do these people have in common? A lot.
When Chris learns of his dad’s death he flies home with his girlfriend to attend the wake and funeral—he misses both, because he stalls at the airport (read: didn’t have the best relationship with his dad). Lillian, his mom, was PISSED when he finally arrived home and she was wrapping up leftovers. The next day the lawyer for his dad’s estate called and Chris thought he was getting CASHmoney—and he was—but, it’s for Frankie—the sister he didn’t know about.
This film is extremely relevant to me. My son currently has two half-siblings. They are younger than him and obviously at this stage in the game don’t know about him—JD doesn’t know about them either (so no judgment). All he knows is that his dad lives in another state and is married to a nice lady. Will I tell JD about his sibs?
When he is old enough to grasp this, I will reveal their names and images—and not to be malicious, but because they are his brother and sister. They are part of him and whether his dad hates me forever and thinks I’m “psychotic” is not our son’s problem.
I don’t hate his dad.
There’s another reason I’m telling JD about his sibs. This is something I’ve thought about before seeing People Like Us, but honestly, seeing it play out in a dramatic form made me cringe, squirm and look away.
Frankie was totally into Sam. She was into her brother. Ew. Carlo. Bri. Visions. EW. Gross. I can’t …
This is because Sam didn’t reveal who he was at first. All he knew was that he had a sister he was supposed to deliver $150,000 to, but he thought seriously about not giving it to her. He kind of stalked her, in fact. He found out he had an awesome, lil pisser nephew, Josh. He found out his sister had a bad past and was working in a bar to pay the rent at some apartment complex.
Sam and Frankie started hanging out. Then Sam, Frankie and Josh started hanging out. Watching it all unfold, was like a single mom (me) on a date with her new guy and kid. Ghah, gross … It was so strange and odd. It got worse when Frankie went for it. Yeah. She wanted to … her brother. And that’s when the big reveal came out. Thank GOD!
Then more stuff came out.
Lillian, Sam’s mom knew all along and decided Sam would never know about Frankie. Sam didn’t hate her for this, but said he would never agree with her decision for HIS life. Then something totally sweet happened. Lillian gave Sam an old film. There he was, playing at the park with Frankie as kiddos. She found the film after her husband died. She had no clue her hubs took Sam to the park for play-dates w/ Frankie, but the kids also had no clue they were bro and sis as they climbed on the jungle gym. Seems like dad wasn’t so bad after all. I mean, he respected his wife’s wishes, but still allowed for interaction. Alas, would it have been so bad for the kids to know each other? No. Kids don’t care about crap like that. They just want to play, eat PB&J and blow bubbles. It’s more intense as you grow older, I think.
I think parents do their kids a giant disservice by not divulging black and white facts about life. I will not be one of those parents. I am arming my son with everything he needs to pursue his father and sibs. And it’s because I’m a good mom. This is all going to be hard enough on my son and the other innocent children involved—I don’t need him randomly meeting his bro on a college campus or thinking his sister is pretty and whatnot. This is all very possible. It’s not farfetched. It’s not some storyline in my head because I saw a film.
JD’s aunt works at a museum not far from us. Can you imagine if his class takes a field trip there? I have. This is my life. Messy, beautiful, proud life.
Extra-Extra: I interviewed actor Adrian Grenier about this topic here. Take a look. His dad’s wife wasn’t cool with him, but his mom also played a role … very awesome to talk with him. Buy his film Shot in the Dark here. I will show it to JD one day.
Discuss … share. I’ll pop in and out today.
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