You People Parent Guide
The script can't decide if it's a social commentary or a comedy and hopscotches awkwardly between the two.
Parent Movie Review
Despite his Jewish background, Ezra Cohen (Jonah Hill) grew up on black music and entertainment, and while it doesn’t pay the bills, he produces a podcast about it with his friend Mo (Sam Jay). So when he meets and falls for Amira (Lauren London), a talented black fashion designer, their shared cultural reference helps bring them together. Ezra wants to get married, but that means they really ought to meet each other’s families – and that’s where the problems start.
Ezra’s very Jewish parents, Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) and Arnold (David Duchovny) are well-intentioned, but completely culturally tone-deaf, and bombard Amira with racially insensitive questions. Amira’s very Muslim parents, Fatima (Nia Long) and Akbar (Eddie Murphy), think Ezra is a moron who is incapable of caring for their daughter and is burdened with racist relatives. As the engagement drags out, tensions between the two families escalate, and Ezra and Amira soon find their relationship struggling to overcome the constant bickering. They just need to keep things together until the wedding…right?
Despite an incredible cast and some solid performances, You People struggles to figure out what it wants to be. The balance between comedy and social commentary is constantly fluctuating, and the script never really decides where it wants to settle. The comedy is mostly built around deeply uncomfortable social dynamics, which I tend to find stressful rather than amusing, and the social commentary is very heavy handed throughout.
Not that the problems end there. There’s a great deal of profanity – over a hundred curse words – about half of which comes from the hip-hop dominated soundtrack. Then, of course, there’s the classic bachelor party in Las Vegas, which features drinking and drug use at a strip club – and a very judgmental soon-to-be father-in-law. As rom-coms go, this is actually fairly mild, especially on the sexual content scale. Apart from the strip club and some suggestive dialogue, there’s no risqué material. The closest thing to a sex scene is the engaged couple lying in bed, fully clothed, talking about music.
I actually wish You People managed to pick a direction, because it has some really solid moments between its unbelievable cast. It just can’t stop bouncing between bad cliches and tired jokes long enough to break any new ground, either in its social observations or its romantic elements. No matter who you cast, they’re only going to be as good as their script and direction, and when those falter, the film just can’t succeed.Directed by Kenya Barris. Starring Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy. Running time: 117 minutes. Theatrical release January 27, 2023. Updated January 28, 2023
Rating & Content Info
Why is You People rated R? You People is rated R by the MPAA for language throughout, some sexual material and drug content.
Sexual Content: There are several instances of sexually explicit dialogue. Characters are seen at a strip club, although no actual nudity is presented on screen. There are references to sexual abuse.
Profanity: There are 36 sexual expletives, 65 scatological terms, and frequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity. There are also frequent uses of racial slurs.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking socially. There is a brief depiction of drug use, including marijuana unidentified pills and cocaine.
Page last updated January 28, 2023
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The classic film about interracial romance is Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, starring the late great Sidney Poitier. Other options include Loving, The Sun is Also a Star, Our Family Wedding, and (our editor’s favorite) A United Kingdom.