Starring Jonah Hill, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lauren London, David Duchovny, Nia Long

“Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don’t we?”

Ezra (Hill) loves Amira (London) and Amira loves Ezra. They decide to get married. But Ezra is white and Jewish and Amira is black and Muslim. Can they overcome? Once upon a time, interracial marriage was considered a taboo subject. Nowadays, though there may be some disfavor or awkwardness in an individual’s experience with it in real life, it doesn’t qualify in itself as a controversial movie subject. So, if you’re looking to push boundaries and be provocative, as the filmmakers behind You People clearly are, you’ll need to do a lot more than simply having your main couple be a white man and a black woman. You People attempts to spice up the familiar (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Guess Who) proceedings by spotlighting some of the difficulties evidently still present in modern society. Most of these difficulties stem from Amira’s militant father, played by Eddie Murphy, and Ezra’s clueless mother, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Race is discussed and joked about ad nauseam and both Ezra and Amira are subjected to a series of awkward encounters with their prospective inlaws. You People is full of funny people and, to its credit, it made me laugh. Giving us two pairs of nightmare inlaws separates it enough from the likes of Meet the Parents and Guess Who, as I’ve mentioned, and both Murphy and Louis-Dreyfus play their roles well. It’s not enough, however, to make up for the uncinematic, cookie-cutter appearance of the film, the tediousness of its more dramatic scenes, or the unlikability of the majority of the black characters which I object to. I think it would have been enough for Eddie Murphy’s character alone to be hostile toward Ezra. I find it unlikely and obnoxious, even, that every one of Amira’s friends and family is so unwelcoming.


Walter Tyrone Howard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s