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(Movie Review) You People

We wanted to be excited about the new movie, You People, which just came out on Netflix.  It has a talented cast (including Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David Duchovny and Nia Long, among others,) and it was directed by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris (who also co-wrote the movie with Hill.)  The film is an updated version of Look Who's Coming to Dinner.  There's plenty of material to work with here regarding race, religion, and other differences.  However, the final product falls flat.

Hill and London play Ezra Cohen and Amira Mohammed, a couple who meet thanks to an Uber mix-up.  Ezra, who is Jewish, co-hosts a podcast on race relations with the underused Sam Jay.  Amira, who is Muslim, is an aspiring costume designer.  They meet, fall in love, and then have to deal with their parents.   Ezra is sincere about his desire for love, but he is a bit of a phony when it comes to his knowledge of Black culture.  Amira might be interesting, but she's pretty thinly-developed, so we don't get much of a sense of her.  Their strength is showing a couple struggling with their families.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny are Ezra's folks.  They're stereotypical progressive Whole Foods customers.  Duchovny can't stop dropping rap references, and every attempt Louis-Dreyfus makes to look "cool" is completely tone-deaf.  He just looks bemused to be on the set, while she is doing her best to find the laughs.  (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Eddie Murphy were castmates on Saturday Night Live in the early 1980's, but there's not much of a connection here.)

Meanwhile, Eddie Murphy and Nia Long are Amira's parents.  They're strong Muslims who decide right from the beginning that they have no use for Ezra.  Really, he doesn't give them any reason to feel otherwise, apart from the whole "he loves their daughter" notion.  Murphy plays most of the movie pretty straight while leaving the comedy to Hill, and the two of them never connect.  Meanwhile, Long doesn't have much to do besides also show her disliking of Ezra. 

The set-up is there, but the script misses the mark.  The movie is a messy version of Black-ish meets Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Its strongest suit is that it's an exercise in awkwardness.  However, it has an authenticity factor of about 2%.  No one talks like this about any of this stuff.  There are occasional pockets of funny moments, but they're never longer than a passing remark.  (There's a barbershop scene that is particularly bizarre.  It felt like Murphy, Hill, and Harris were trying to make three different movies during that sequence.)

While Hill and London have an easy chemistry, the pacing of their entire relationship is off, from start to finish.  That disconnect makes the final twists and turns of this one hour and 58 minute movie feel rushed.  From start to finish, You People feels like it couldn't settle on what kind of story it wanted to tell. 

Final Grade:  B-/C+


You People BarbershopWhat was the deal with this barbershop?  (pic via



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