Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are, generally speaking, known for their sci-fi work. Amongst their credits are television shows like Alias and Fringe and movies like 2009's Star Trek, its sequel, and the upcoming Ender's Game. Consequently, seeing that they're the writers behind 2012's People Like Us, and that Kurtzman directed the film, may give one pause. Sure, the movie may feature the new Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), the director of the first two Iron Man movies (Jon Favreau), Tim Burton's Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), Tron: Legacy's Olivia Wilde, and the apparently everywhere Elizabeth Banks as the female lead, but People Like Us is far more a character piece than any sort of action-adventure/sci-fi/smart adrenaline flick.
I refer to People Like Us as a "character piece" because I'm feeling generous (and perhaps because it comes up in some of the bonus features included on the Blu-ray). It certainly wouldn't be called an "enthralling drama" or a "really intelligent look at [insert anything here]." It is a middling concept made better by really good performances from Pine and Banks.
Such as it is, the plot involves Sam (Pine) going from N.Y., where his life as a salesman is in crisis, back to L.A., where he grew up, when he finds out that his father has passed away. It is a trip he doesn't want to make, but does so nonetheless, taking his girlfriend, Lillian (Wilde), along for the ride. What Sam quickly finds out is that his father had an affair and an illegitimate daughter, Frankie (Banks), who has a son (Michael Hall D'Addario).
From there it is all, roughly, as you would predict. Frankie hasn't had an easy life and her son, Josh, hasn't either. Sam's dad has provided some under the table money for Josh, unbeknownst to Sam's mom (Pfeiffer), and Sam isn't sure what to do about it. The cash, we learn, could help Sam out of his own personal troubles, but the more he gets to know Frankie and Josh the more he wants to help them. And, of course, he doesn't tell Frankie and Josh that he's related to them (so as to heighten the drama later, presumably).