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People Like Us: Family Issues Essay

1910 words - 8 pages

Troubles and issues associated with families are steadily becoming a significant social problem in our culture today. According to the Baptist Press, a survey conducted by Lifeway Christian Resources names “absence of father figure,” “financial pressures,” and “balance of work and family” as three of the top ten issues facing families (Noel). These issues are just a few problems that aid to family dysfunction in the United States of America and worldwide. A 2012 Dreamworks Picture production directed by Alex Kurtzman depicts the problems listed above in a movie entitled People Like Us (Spieldberg, Dreamworks Studios). The movie, which depicts both sides of a family issue, is actually based on a true events that happened in director Alex Kurtzman’s own life (Bibbiani). A review from by Bruce Bennett describes the movie as examining “the cost of broken, fatherless relationships in subtle but direct ways” (Bennett, Rotten Tomatos). I chose to use this movie in my paper after watching it with a friend one evening around a month ago. Although the move itself was not all that successful in the box office and did not receive much positive feedback from movie critics, I feel that the movie is an excellent representation of the effects that certain family issues have on society. The movie stars Chris Pine as Sam, a guy, who after the death of his father, discovers that he has a sister he never knew about. The movie then leads the audience through an eventful plotline in which both siblings “re-examine their perceptions about family and life choices.”
The plot is centered on Sam (Chris Pines), a struggling corporate barterer who lives in New York. After one of his company deals violated federal law, he finds himself in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission and is told by his boss to bribe federal officials at his own expense. After getting in from work that same day, Sam learns that his estranged father, a relatively wealthy record-producer, has passed away. Sam then reluctantly flies home to stay with his mother, an action that creates much tension between him and his mother due to the relationship he had with his father. Sam then meets with his father’s lawyer regarding his father’s estate. Sam discovers that his father has left him $100,000 but specifies that the money be delivered to “Josh Davis.” On Sam’s journey to find Josh Davis, he learns that Josh is the 11 year old troubled son of Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), a recovering-alcoholic and bartender. Through a chain of events, he also finds out that Frankie is his half-sister, a love child of his father. Bitter of his father’s secret and choice to leave the money with the half-sister’s son, Sam decides to keep the money for himself, as the money would fix his current situation at work. Frankie often talks about her father to Sam, whom she feels abandoned her and her mother, and displays resentment towards her father’s wife and son, of whom she has never met. She also reveals...

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