You People (2023) Review
There are few things in this world that feel as pointless as a film attempting to be more than it is, and while comedic icons Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy try their best to make the most of this edgy script, Netflix latest star-studded comedy You People fails to capitalise on its atypical, full of potential premise.
New found couple Ezra (Jonah Hill) and Amira (Lauren London) find themselves embroiled in a cultural clash between their respective Muslim and African-American families due to the their generational and societal differences, most of which stem from the racial tension between Amira's father Akbar (Eddie Murphy) and Ezra's mother Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus).
You People paints itself as a dark, interracial love story that tries to speak volumes about the current state of the world, and for the most part it is, but director/writer Kenya Barris its plot devices to make fun of overplayed story tropes. However, in an ironic twist, the film couldn't be anything further from an edgy comedy, resulting in a story that tries to parody films such as Love Actually, yet wouldn't feel out of place in the early 2000s.
Despite possessing an underwhelming script, You People makes up for its lack of straightforward humour by having a wonderfully-cast line-up. Jonah Hill co-writes and stars in this interracial rom-com, resulting in a performance which feels genuine and passion filled; an necessity considering the difference in quality between the performances and dialogue. Eddie Murphy returns in his first starring role since 2021's Coming 2 America, and much like Hill, Murphy imbues his legendary comedic status into the movie by playing off Hill in the film's rare highlights. However, despite starring the best moments, these scenes were, understandably, shown in the promotional material, spoiling what would otherwise be genuinely funny exchanges. Louis-Dreyfus shows sparks of passion throughout the film, but is given little time to showcase her comedic talents, an unfortunate shame as she was shaping up to be a standout character during the first act before being given nothing to work with as the plot gradually progressed.
If You People is a sign of things to come for comedies in 2023, this year is looking quite bleak indeed. Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy do the best they can to elevate this contradictory rom-com, but at the end of the day, Kenya Barris' social commentary tries to be more edgy than a myriagon yet fails to showcase any long-lasting, satirical comedy due to the lack of cohesive and coherent dialogue. The trailers may paint You People as an unmissable social commentary, but you won't be missing much if all you watched was the promotional material; such a waste of a talented cast.