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People Like Us [2012] [PG-13] - 5.4.5



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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Based on a true story about a harried salesman (Chris Pine) that struggles with his own life and relationship with a woman (Olivia Wilde) as he reluctantly flies back home to LA for his estranged father's funeral. There, he finds that Dad's will requires him to deliver $150,000 to his alcoholic sister (Elizabeth Banks). He finds this odd, since he never knew he had a sister, much less one that has an 11-year-old son (Michael Hall D'Addario) and attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Also with Michelle Pfeiffer, Mark Duplass and Jon Favreau. Directed by Alex Kurtzman. [1:55]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - A woman lies across her bed, wearing a T-shirt and panties that reveal full legs and thighs; she puts on a short jeans skirt and knocks on a neighbor's door, when he opens the door she rushes him across the room and on top of a bureau while kissing him passionately and we then see her, still dressed, while straddling him and thrusting (suggesting sex). A woman wears a tight T-shirt that reveals significant cleavage with a clingy micro-mini skirt that reveals most of her thighs and legs in several scenes.
 A man tells a woman that he will never hit on her, she looks angry, then laughs and says OK; a few nights later, she begins to hug and kiss the man, but he backs away and says, "No" (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).
 A woman says that men in bars stare at her chest. A woman tells a friend that her son is an alcoholic love child, the result of casual sex with a stranger. A key ring features the words "Musicians do it with technique." A woman tells a man that her father left her family when she was eight. A woman says that she abused alcohol and had anonymous one-night stands even while pregnant, had a son whose father she cannot name and finally joined the AA. A woman asks her friend if he is gay; he laughs and says that he is not and that he is in a relationship. A woman jokes that she was in a squad of cheerleaders, all technically virgins. A man tells a middle school boy that one rule for attracting girls to date is never to sleep with a girl that has more problems than you. A boy says a teen girl next door goes braless and that makes him know what to do with himself, suggesting masturbation.

VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A woman hugs and kisses a man who rejects her and they argue, she slaps his face hard, twice (we see bruises the next day), they struggle and break a lamp in her apartment, she yells and pushes him out the door, while all the neighbors come out to see what's wrong and he walks away. A man arrives at his mother's home in after his father's funeral, she slaps her son in the face, tells him it is good to have him home and then walks out of the room.
 A middle school boy makes an obscene hand gesture toward another boy in school, the offended boy picks up a textbook, walks over to the offending boy and smashes the book in the boy's face; we hear that his nose was broken and the attacker was expelled from school. A middle school boy pushes a smaller boy onto the ground at school and tells him to stay away from him and his friends.
 A man becomes angry, gets into his car, squeals the tires and drives over the speed limit, nearly hitting another car at an intersection.
 Two men argue about business and the transport of a train full of boxed soups that exploded in the heat before arriving at their destination; one man tells the other that the soup made a boxcar look like a hospital birthing room full of afterbirth. A man and his mother argue loudly about the existence of her husband's other family (a mistress and a daughter); they argue for several minutes while she cries and later falls out of a chair and her son learns that she needs an outpatient heart procedure for plaque removal (we see her recovered later). A boy's school principal requires him to see a psychologist regularly; at the sessions, the boy and his mother argue about why they are always late for appointments, resulting in the psychologist dropping the case and the mother becoming angry. A man's boss docks his commission causing him to become angry. A man argues, sometimes loudly, on his cell phone about business with a number of freight agents and vendors. A man and a woman argue and the next night, she ends their relationship and leaves. A man argues with his girlfriend in several scenes. A man arrives home to hear from his girlfriend that his father just died across the country and he looks stunned. A woman at a meeting reads a newspaper clipping aloud that says her father is dead; she says that she learned about the death from the newspaper and other people in the room tell her they are sorry to hear the news.
 A middle school boy impresses friends by throwing a sodium brick into a swimming pool where it explodes, and then breaks a glass bottle beside the pool. We see a brief church scene of a funeral that features a coffin on an altar, covered with flowers and grieving attendees.

PROFANITY 5 - At least 1 F-word, 2 obscene hand gestures, 30 scatological terms, 14 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (weird, fat, nuts, crazy, suckers, old, douche, warlock), stereotypical references to dysfunctional families, men, women, single parents, family secrets, alcoholics, Alcoholics Anonymous, misbehaving children, dishonest salesmen, Mexicans, neighbors, 5 religious profanities, 6 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man finds a cabinet full of prescription bottles and swallows a few pills (we do not see the names of the medicines), a man says that his son is in drug rehab, a man finds medicinal marijuana that his father had used for cancer pain, a man drinks alcohol and smokes marijuana and his mother joins him, a man puts aspirins into his coffee for a hangover and a man says he needs a horse tranquilizer after a bad day at work. Men and women drink cocktails and glasses of beer in a club, a bartender is identified as an alcoholic (we do not see her drink), a woman tells a friend that she wants five dirty martinis when things go bad (we do not see her drink), a woman says that her son is the result of alcohol leading to a one-night stand she can't remember, a man holds an alcoholic drink on an airplane (he does not drink it), a man walks up to his dead father's attic office and finds a bar with leather bottles full of whiskey, and a man visits a woman at Alcoholics' Anonymous meetings several times. We see men and women smoking cigarettes in a parking lot and outside the entrance to an Alcoholics' Anonymous, and a woman says she smokes a pack a day.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Relationships, families, marriage, fidelity, secrets, choices, alcoholism, drug use, conflict, reconciliation, discovery.

MESSAGE - Learn to communicate honestly in your family.

Special Keywords: S5 - V4 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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