The new Netflix movie “You People” has a positive aspect – in trying to address the awkward guilt that white people sometimes have with black people and the awkward resentment that some black people have toward white people. Most of this awkwardness is made humorous – and some of this works, some of this does not work. The main negative aspect of this screenplay, co-wrote by Jonah Hill is that the relationship between Jewish and overweight Jonah Hill, who plays Ezra, and Lauren London who plays Amira is not at all believable.
This story is kind of like an attempted comedic version of “Guess Who is Coming to Dinner”, released in 1967, starring Sydney Potier, Spenser Tracy, and Katherine Hepburn. It is not fair to compare these two movies, mainly because the eras between 55 years ago and now are so different, but the main reason is that Guess Who is Coming to Dinner is a drama and You People is a comedy.
The other flaw here is that Eddie Murphy is in this movie and is never really funny. Murphy comes off as both bored and bland throughout his entire role. This is a big problem when your main comedic well-known star is never funny. Murphy plays Amira’s father Akbar, and along with Ezra’s mother Shelly, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus – they create the main obstacles in the dating and marriage of Ezra and Amira. Through rude comments by both of them, and in the case of Shelly, her trying too hard to understand and appreciate black people, comes off as bigoted rather than supportive. Some of this is funny, but too much of this can be just awkward, and too awkward is never funny.
The acting in this light comedy is mostly good and includes David Duchovny, who pulls off the most awkward scene where he tries to sing at a piano – even though his singing is extremely off-key. Duchovny seems very out of place in this role. Nia Long plays Fatima, Amira’s mother, and also seems like she is barely in this movie mostly sleepwalking through her role.
Despite the flaws, this movie has enough positive aspects including message, and funny moments to give it a passable review and a mild recommendation. The Rotten Tomatoes rating of only 45 is once again, dead wrong.