People Places Things intertwines charm and comedy to create a lighthearted tale about a man who just wants to do good for his twin daughters whilst trying to balance a career and the possibility of love.
Starring kiwi actor Jemaine Clement, best known for his role in Flight of the Concords, People Places Things fits into the indie-film and Sundance vibe it was meant to. In spite of a simple and enjoyable narrative, the cast often lacked a certain pizzazz that was needed in order for the characters to shine and carry the story. Saying this, the leading cast members did comfortably slip into the roles and brought a degree of realism into a world of 21st century film-making that’s usually dominated by action, aliens and explosions.
One thing People Places Things did do well was help express the truth of the situation. You would be surprised how many films like to think that they are telling a truthful and realistic love or family story when really we can’t help but stare at the screen with disbelief. Some of my favourite moments involved Will’s interaction with his students where he would lead a class discussion with the words “Why life sucks” or tell his children’s Mother that they were eating a healthy breakfast with cheese and tomato when he was really talking about left over pizza. Humanity is far from perfect and it’s strangely refreshing to see it on screen with familiarity and sincerity.
People Places Things is a film that captures life and all the chaotic glory that comes with it. Though it might not be engaging enough for some people, a fan of the quieter films might certainly enjoy this short and sweet tale.