You People advertises itself as a fun romcom with a twist—the twist being an interracial relationships with both families acting prickly about the situation. But this film is not a fun romcom. Its derogatory and inappropriate racial comments makes for flawed humor, and I found it to be an almost two hour long offensive, confusing, and stereotypical film.
The plot of the film introduces us to Ezra (played by Jonah Hill), who falls in love with Amira (played by Lauren London). Ezra is white and Jewish, and Amira is Black. They know in their hearts that they are in love and that they are meant to be, but are their families on the same page as them? Ezra’s mother is Shelley (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus), his father is Arnold (played by David Duchovny), and his sister is Liza (played by Molly Gordon). Ezra’s family leads a privileged life and they are extremely high maintenance. Amira’s parents are Akbar (played by Eddie Murphy) and Fatima (played by Nia Long), and she has many siblings. Amira’s family is Muslim. Akbar questions Ezra as a man and his faithfulness to his daughter. The film takes the family dynamics to heights of religion, class, and tension, but it is presented in a very demeaning way, and that is why even the title You People is a turn off.
Is racism a funny subject? Absolutely not. But have there been quality films with racial comments in the comedy genre? Yes. Have some films addressing diversity or class tried too hard to be funny? Not many, but that’s how I view You People. This film is not satirical. It is morally wrong, poorly written, and a just slew of negative racial stereotypes and derogatory words and tension.
I always try to find some positive aspects to a film, but this one is a challenge. The one positive I can find is the cast. The characters fit the concept of the film, especially Dreyfus and Duchovny as Ezra’s parents, and Murphy and Long as Amira’s parent. These are all diverse people with diverse attitudes. But the subject matter is delivered all wrong.
Simply put, I did not like this film at all, despite the cast. I found it hateful, disgusting, and offensive. The characterizations sickened me, and I felt offended throughout the film. There was a total lack of positivity. Bringing the concepts of race, ethnicity and culture to the cinema is important, but this film was over the limit. Netfix viewers will need to decide whether they want to watch this one, but I don’t recommend it. Two stars for You People.