You People Review: A solid modern romance

You People. (L to R) Jonah Hill (Writer-Producer) as Ezra and Lauren London as Amira in You People. Cr. Parrish Lewis/Netflix © 2023.
You People. (L to R) Jonah Hill (Writer-Producer) as Ezra and Lauren London as Amira in You People. Cr. Parrish Lewis/Netflix © 2023. /

What’s new on Netflix? The new comedy You People is streaming now! In the film, a couple and their families navigate cultural and generational differences. These differences start to be emphasized when the couple are planning on getting married and seek the approval of both sides of the family. The film was written by both Jonah Hill and Kenya Barris, directed and co-written by Barris and and stars Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nia Long, and David Duchovny.

The movie starts with us being introduced to Ezra, played by Hill, a Jewish broker with a podcasting side hustle that he runs with his friend and business partner, Mo. We also meet Amira, played by London, a Black woman who comes from a Muslim family and has had some trouble finding a stable relationship that isn’t handpicked by her father.

After Ezra mistakenly gets into her car after thinking that it was a drive-share, the two find that they have some things in common. Essentially, after the “meet cute”, a relationship begins to form until Ezra musters up the courage to propose to her but not without informing his own parents and setting up a lunch with Amira’s the get their blessing.  I share my review of the film below to give you a sense of what to expect; Some spoilers ahead!

You People is a solid modern romance movie

With a script crafted in the same vein as Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, I went in with certain expectations. These expectations were shattered once the movie started to find its footing in the second act. Alongside Hill, we see London, who delivers a genuine performance as Amira. It was nice to see her back on screen in a role where she had line deliveries that made me laugh out loud.

In the initial teaser, it showcased the obvious tension between Hill’s character Ezra and Amira’s parents, portrayed by Murphy and Long as well as his own parents played by Dreyfus and Duchovny, but I thought there would be a bit more back and forth between the parents, almost al la Meet the Fockers but that kind of fizzled out.

I wondered if it was due to the script not allowing us to see a well-developed relationship blossom between the two or if it was Barris, who wanted viewers to really hone in on the message of the story wholly and not necessarily on the relationships of the film. This would make sense as the dialogue that’s heard throughout the film jumped from making light of woke culture to some serious conversations and revelations happening.

That being said, the movie features some incredible performances from the heavy hitters cast in the project yet Long and Duchovny essentially serve as the supporting, or more so, supportive spouses, allowing Dreyfus and Murphy to get the last laugh in their overprotective parental roles. Though, Duchovny’s character has a running gag throughout the film of being obsessed with rapper Xzibit in order to impress Amira and her family of his knowledge of their “culture”.

It was a nice insert to give his character some dimension. I found that Long didn’t get to have the same and it was almost like wasted talent to see her on screen without giving her a chance to have her own personality that isn’t separate from her husband’s opinions and beliefs but I digress.

The best part of the film had to be the wedding scene to close out the film. I enjoyed seeing the two families merge the cultural differences into a shared experience for everyone who was in attendance at the wedding to share. It brought closure as I truly thought that the movie was going to endure a less than stellar ending.

It’s obvious that Barris and Hill had a fun time collaborating on the script due to the incessant riffing between characters. For some, that may be a turn-off but it worked well for these characters and offered something more to an otherwise already played out story trope. It’s a nice watch if you’re looking for a modern romance in the era of hyperawareness to social justice and race relations.

You People is available to watch on Netflix.

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