You People

You people
You people
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You People is a comedy that belittles love, religion and race. It is directed by Kenya Barris, who also co-wrote it and is known for the Black-ish sitcom and its spin-offs, he makes fun of extremes through his verbose conversation skills. Every member of the cast keeps improvising nonstop as if they are affectionately trying to audition for a comedy skit at the nearest club. Some of these barbs hit hilariously but as an overall experience, it’s not funny and there is little surprise in how things will end due to overlength.

The standard plot line of a boy meets girl romance applies here — meaning the father hates him and he has to work hard to get into his good graces.

Ezra Cohen (Jonah Hill), a 35 year old white Jewish money broker, needs a girlfriend so much. Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Arnold (David Duchovny), his parents, want him to go out with nice girls from their synagogue. They’re mad whenever Ezra goes through holidays without yarmulke on. He hates his job and life altogether, besides doing podcasts with Mo (Sam Jay), his black best friend.

Amira Mohammed (Lauren London) is an attractive black Muslim girl searching for connections. Her parents Akbar (Eddie Murphy) and Fatima (Nia Long) give her coaching on which suitors are suitable for her pursuit. She doesn’t like meeting people who only pretend to be right for her though. When she met Ezra one day it was opposing but later turned interesting as both saw what they had been looking in someone else.

Six months henceforth, Ezra tells Amira he wants them to get married soonest possible time. Shelley along with Arnold are finally glad that their son has eventually become happy yet don’t seem comfortable around Amira either way . Akbar & Fatima are totally pissed that their daughter has fallen in love with a white dude. The meeting between their Jewish and Muslim families goes as horribly as expected. Ezra and Amira are going to get closer to his/her future parents-in law and thus, they will be able to bring peace before the wedding.

You People teems over all hurdles gleefully. The first scene where Ezra and Mo joke about Barack Obama, who is a drug user and quasi-gay sets the stage for the rest of the play. But it’s also funny in parts which some people might consider offensive due to harsh exchanges. Barris co-wrote some of those Holocaust jokes with Hill who is the main actor in this movie. One can only wonder why a Jewish actor feels he has that privilege, hence Black guys use one particular offensive term synonymous with ‘guy’. There is mention of slavery too as a bone of contention. The film is unapologetic; it presents itself like everyone will reach an understanding at last.

The couple’s common point is black culture according to Barris and Hill (2006). He listens rap music, wears sneakers on-trend and even follows urban fashion trends; clearly this makes him more relatable to Amira than his relatives do. That’s obvious enough but maybe there would have been much greater impact if Ezra had tried to embrace Judaism more strongly throughout? Thus you’d end up with opposites attract storylines revolving around two completely different people happy together despite that fact You People had an opportunity present complex social/cultural divisions in a nuanced way. In almost every instance its understanding of the smallest common denominator falls utterly flat.

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