Film Review – You People (2023)

Title – You People (2023) 

Director – Kenya Barris (feature debut) 

Cast – Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nia Long, David Duchovny, Molly Gordon 

Plot – Los Angeles based Jewish podcaster Ezra (Hill) and his new African American girlfriend Amira (London) find their romance weighed down by racial prejudices and tensions caused by their ill-advised parental groups that includes Ezra’s mother Shelley (Louis-Dreyfus) and Amira’s protective father Akbar (Murphy). 

“Who is this white woman?”

Review by Eddie on 03/02/2023

Not bereft of laughs and some on point (if far from revelatory) observations about race relations, prejudices and cultural awareness, Netflix’s latest high profile and star studded original comedic effort courtesy of director/writer Kenya Barris and co-writer/star Jonah Hill may not be a complete dud but considering the amount of talent involved and potential within its grasp, You People can’t be considered a success. 

Lining up some classic comedic talent that spans multiple decades and sub-genres, Barris’s access to Hill, upcoming star Lauren London, iconic comedic forces Eddie Murphy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the undervalued comedy chops of David Duchovny (I’ll fight anyone that says Evolution isn’t one of the 2000’s best comedies) sets the bar for You People fairly high and it doesn’t take too long too realise the film just isn’t going to be the all-timer we were hoping for as the generic love story and mis-matched pairing of Hill’s wise-cracking Jewish podcaster Ezra and London’s sassy African American daddy’s girl Amira takes hold. 

Certain to displease anyone that has never clicked with Hill’s style of ad-libbing and specific type of self-congratulatory comedy that he perfected in the likes of Superbad, Knocked Up and Get Him to the Greek, there are times You People finds a nice grove with its quick fire comebacks, put downs and cultural observations but thanks to some TV sit com of the week editing, a love story that never feels like its full of that much love and a bunch of situations that feel set up for great comedy moments (an awkward family dinner, Vegas bucks weekend, barber shop visit) only to come and go without too much of a fuss, all combine to make You People feel like a wasted opportunity to say something worthwhile while also giving us belly laughs a plenty. 

In a current climate where regular and worthwhile mainstream comedy films are scarcely to be found, You People has come out in a perfect time and place for all those eager genre goers that would prefer their comedy consumption to come in the form of the feature format rather than the mini-series/long form TV format yet Barris can’t seem to ever get You People out of first gear with Dreyfuss trying hard with little to help her out and her male co-stars and leads Hill and Murphy unable to break free from their invisible shackles and really let loose, delivering one note turns that they would’ve never fallen too in the peak of the comedy careers. 

Final Say – 

I am sure everyone (including Netflix) wanted You People to be an early 2023 hit but while the film itself holds a few solid chuckles, Kenya Barris’s film is more of a miss than a hit as it stumbles along its way, failing to utilise the many tools at its disposal to become something special. 

2 1/2 forgotten song titles out of 5 

5 responses to “Film Review – You People (2023)

  1. ‘You People’ is a term used by anti semites but here applied as racial abuse. Is this attempting to be a comical ‘In The Heat Of The Night’ or ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner ‘? because its just a bland rehashing of left wing ideology’ that people are just tired of. It’s no surprise that the recent ‘She Said’ failed so dramatically. People are tired of female empowerment, weak ‘toxic’ males, ridiculous diversity and racial clashes.

    Jonah Hill is totally miscast, unfunny and forgettable. When will woke Netflix realise that people no longer want to lectured. I haven’t seen a dect production since ‘Don’t Look Up’. I’d give this 0 points for wasting 45 minutes of my time. I was too bored to see the whole film

  2. Well you certainly enjoyed this one more than myself, but at least it’s easily accessible and can watched from your couch.

    (also Evolution is a classic and a film I quote more often than most)

  3. Thanks for reviewing this one, it sounds exactly as I imagined. Making a full length movie highlighting social issues with comedy is almost an impossible endeavor and it always seems to come across as lecturing and the truly funny parts are lost in the rest of the mess. Even Meet the Parents was too much for me, it was hilarious the first 30-45 minutes but then it just became too much going wrong and wasn’t funny anymore. Those trying to get a message across would be better served making a good movie about something else, anything else, then at a prime opportunity toss in something about “you people” one time, stressing ONE TIME.

    • With this type of cast and talent involved all over Tony you would expect this one to have hit a lot better than it did.

      I did find a few more laughs in it than most people seem to have found but there is no doubt this is another Netflix miss.

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