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June 29, 2012 | 10:15 p.m. CST
Like many New York businessmen, Sam (Chris Pine) is arrogant, selfish and manipulative. After receiving word that his estranged father has passed, he does just about everything he can to avoid attending the funeral. Luckily, his girlfriend (Olivia Wilde) acts as a voice of reason and persuades Sam to head to Los Angeles for the service.
While in L.A., Sam has a secret meeting with his father’s lawyer and is given a brown leather shaving kit filled with $150,000. However, the money is not for him. Instead, Sam is instructed to pass the money along to a mystery woman and her 11-year-old son and to “take care of them.”Related Movie
The twist is that the woman, Frankie (Elizabeth Banks), happens to be Sam’s half-sister. He decides to hold off on giving her the money and debates whether to keep it for himself. In the meantime, he becomes quite close with Frankie and her son, all while hiding the fact that they are related. Things start to get complicated (and extremely awkward) when Frankie begins to fall for her half-brother.
The relationship between Sam and Frankie as siblings is an interesting and unusual idea. But when Frankie falls for Sam, it becomes too much.
This Dreamworks production is inspired by true events and really hits home for people with family problems. And let’s be honest, we’ve all got them. Their father, Jerry, was present in Sam’s life but was never really engaged. Frankie, on the other hand, did not have her father in her life at all. She says she never had a choice. The two share the same feelings of abandonment and really engage the audience in their pain. Pine, Michelle Pfeiffer (who plays Sam’s mother) and Banks do an extraordinary job of portraying the complicated emotions of their characters.
The movie, which starts off strong, drags on toward the middle but picks back up when Sam begins to bond with Frankie and her son. In the end, it is the plot that really hurts this movie. It has aspects viewers can relate to, but there are too many points when the movie crosses the line from heart-warming and relatable to awkward and creepy.