These days, interracial and interreligious marriage is (mostly) accepted. That does not mean, however, that the families of the engaged couples are welcoming of their child’s future spouse.
The new Netflix movie, You People, is the love story of Ezra (Jonah Hill) and Amira (Lauren London). The perceived problem is that Ezra comes from an Ashkenazi Jewish family and Amira comes from a black Muslim family. It is essentially a cinematic love child of Meet the Parents (2000) and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967).
As expected, the clash itself does not come from the couple. Ezra’s parents, Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Arnold (David Duchovny) are liberal, white, and tone-deaf. Amira’s parents, Akbar (Eddie Murphy) and Fatima (Nia Long) are trying to understand why their daughter has chosen to marry outside of her faith and culture.
While Ezra and Amira are doing their best to keep their love alive, outside forces may tear them apart.
Co-written by Hill and Kenya Barris, the movie tries to address the cultural and religious issues that come between the characters. Instead of bringing these questions to the forefront in a way that makes the audience laugh and think at the same time, it falls flat on its face.
The worst aspect of the film is that anti-Semitic stereotypes are thrown around like a football. The most offensive of these is the adulation of Louis Farrakhan and the spreading of the lie (which has been proven to be false) that Jews dominated the Atlantic Slave Trade. As an MOT (member of the tribe), I am offended and disappointed that Hill took the easy way out. It’s one thing that if the story would have been entirely written someone who was not Jewish, that would have been an objectionable act by itself. But the fact that Hill is Jewish makes it ten times worse.
The shameful aspect is the misuse of the comedic leads, Murphy and Louis-Dreyfus. These two performers by themselves are legendary in their own right. And yet, they are relegated to tropes that are 2D and stilted.
Do I recommend it? No. I don’t say this very often, but You People is one of the worst films that I have ever seen.
You People is currently streaming on Netflix.