The highly anticipated Netflix movie “You People” starring Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Nia Long and many other familiar faces still has people talking … but not all great things.
I don’t blame them though, the long painful minutes of awkwardness and jokes tiptoed on a fine line between cringy and rarely funny.
Jonah Hill co-wrote and plays Ezra Cohen, the only boy from a white wealthy Jewish family of four. His love interest Amira Mohammed, also known as Lauren London, identifies as an African American Muslim with strict parents Nia Long and Eddie Murphy.
Ezra mistakenly gets in Amira's car thinking it's an Uber which causes her to freak out and curse him away. His charm and sincerity land him a date with her and from then on they clicked right away. Before I watched the trailer I was so interested in how they were going to show the chemistry between Hill and London since they are such different actors. But to no surprise Hill portrayed a white boy who is down with the “culture.”
The crossover between the two different cultures gave lots of opportunities for racial jokes and harmless stereotypes to be thrown around for a laugh. When Amira and Ezra hosted a dinner for their families to meet and get to know each other, Akbar Mohammed, Amira's dad, was challenged by the Cohens to ask the table if the Holocaust is equivalent to slavery. The silence was so loud at the table and at times I had to pause the movie because the tension was just unbearable, although, at the same time, I think that was the point of the film.
It was never supposed to be a cinematic masterpiece, to begin with. The cast is way too well off and successful to take the plot of the movie seriously and for the rest of the film, I thought of it as more of a parody. Meeting your significant other's parents is terrifying and awkward and I think the intense and dramatic encounters shared with the families were making fun of that. Ezra's mom commenting on Amira's hair 24/7 and trying to relate and “understand” her seemed like a typical mom thing to do, but came off as her being tone-deaf to black culture. Eddie Murphy following Ezra around on his bachelor trip to Vegas to unveil his true character was beyond out of pocket, but not a shocker for an overprotective dad looking out for his only daughter. People hating on the movie either aren’t Black, not Jewish or just don’t have kids because they can’t relate to the semi-realistic funny parts.
The most interesting thing to come out of this movie was the fashion and styling done on the characters. Outside of acting, Hill usually creates some buzz about his wardrobe and I feel like he really would wear some of the pieces his character wore. It was very LA-esque for them to match the cast’s looks to the setting filled with vibrant colors and funky patterns, London looked exceptionally amazing on camera. From hair and makeup details to shoes they made the cast look good while saying some terrible jokes.
I knew this movie was just for fun when the director and co-writer Kenya Barris participated in a cameo. Even though it was a simple one-liner I thought it was clever and it really took me by surprise.
It's really not as bad as people say it is. This is the type of movie you watch on a Sunday because there is nothing else to do and I don't necessarily think that’s a bad thing. After watching this movie, I hope more movies would cast such a diverse range of actors for comedies just for the fun of it.