I Watched You People On Netflix And Oh, Man Do I Have Thoughts
Anyone with a Netflix subscription knows that the service is always good for debuting intriguing new content, and the early days of the 2023 new movie releases were no different. Returning to the streaming giant just months after his documentary Stutz took social media by storm, Jonah Hill teamed up with black-ish and #blackAF creator Kenya Barris (with whom he wrote the story have) teamed up to star alongside comedy legend Eddie Murphy in You People.
I watched the movie over the weekend, and definitely had some strong thoughts about it, which I had to share. Let’s get into it!
(Image credit: Netflix) This movie is not that funny
Okay, I can freely admit that I’m probably not the biggest fan of comedies that aim to turn a series of awkward situations into a story that inspires repeated laughs, but, boy oh boy. You people have been really dry in terms of bringing me the funny. And I had high hopes that it would make me laugh after watching the trailer, though I also fully expect most of the movie to be filled with cringeworthy, racially based misunderstandings/argument-focused humor.
It’s not even that the movie is more serious than it’s billed, but that many of the bits just don’t land. This includes the scenes where Murphy’s Akbar talks to his two kids about how he’s the darkest skin in the restaurant, and later when he tries to bait Hill’s Ezra into saying the n-word (among many others), which simply doesn’t t work. My only good laugh came when Akbar asked his son if he knew Ezra’s friend, Mo, had “tits,” and his son casually responded, “Yeah, they’re on her chest.”
(Image credit: Netflix) They have some recognizable people to play some very small parts
Most of us realize, as we start any film, that we’re probably going to see a number of recognizable people who weren’t really advertised as part of the movie. However, I was very surprised to see the likes of Rhea Perlman (above), Hal Linden, The Upshaws cast member Mike Epps, Richard Benjamin, La La Anthony, Elliott Gould and black-ish stars Anthony Anderson and Deon Cole (and more). with a scene or two in the movie. Honestly, I rather enjoy watching a film and being able to say, “OMG, there’s what’s her name/what’s his face!”, so, well done, You People cast.
(Image credit: Netflix)Nia Long and David Duchovny are rare in this film
Speaking of the cast, am I the only one who thought that Nia Long and David Duchovny, as the spouses of Eddie Murphy and star Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ characters, would be in the movie a lot more than they were? Unfortunately, Duchovny is the only one who really gets a chance to shine in the comedy, with his John Legend-singing, oddly Xzibit-loving portrayal of Arnold Cohen. They couldn’t have given Long something to do other than play a serious faced wife/mother who hates racism?
(Image credit: Netflix) WHO CARES ABOUT MATCHING CANDLES?!
What even is this scene? Look, I totally understand that everyone in the Mohammed and Cohen clans was already on edge when they sat down to dinner, and that things only got worse as they sat and talked before the meal even really started. So, I get a certain amount of poor decision making when it comes to how seemingly basic things would be handled as the evening went on.
However! When Long’s Fatima says she has an allergic reaction to the candles on the table and asks that they be removed, Louis-Dreyfus’ Shelley not only picks up the slender tapers in their holders without blowing them out, but Ezra makes then the ridiculous choice to get up and fight with his mother over those very candles; struggle with her about them. Anyone who lights candles regularly knows that tapers famously never stay in their containers, sometimes even if you melt some wax in the bottom and let the taper stick in it. Who in their right mind engages in an active battle over lit candles that will clearly fall to the floor, or onto someone’s prized headgear? Nobody. That’s who.
(Image credit: Netflix) I’m so glad Amira finally told Shelley how she felt
While Ezra and Amira’s (Lauren London) parents do a pretty good job of speaking up when the other family says something they consider racially sensitive, wrong, or tone-deaf, Amira consistently puts up with the most shit, and usually because of Shelley. It’s not until the rehearsal dinner for their planned wedding that she finally calls it quits, and that moment was well-deserved.
(Image credit: Netflix) In no way do I believe Akbar and Shelley solved all their problems in one conversation
Since Akbar and Shelley have much more to do here than their spouses, it makes sense that they are the ones with the most beef when it comes to the other saying things that upset them. They don’t exactly hate each other, but it is very clear that it will take a lot of time and effort to come to any agreement on their positions.
That’s why, when they get Amira and Ezra to see each other again after being apart for three months, and reveal that they’re “chatting,” it doesn’t seem realistic that they’re finally really OK with their kids being together. As far as we know, they had one conversation, which wouldn’t be close enough unless they could just agree to disagree on everything except the fact that their kids seemed to love each other.
(Image credit: Netflix) Wait, am I supposed to be cool with Ezra’s degenerate friends now?
Towards the end, Akbar took a lot of heat for the way he treated Ezra throughout the movie, and while he apologized to him, I have to say, I’m 100% on his side on at least one thing: Ezra’s degenerate friends .
I completely understand that decent people can have friends who are up to no good, but his peers are engaging in dangerous and illegal behavior that he both knows about, and has participated in as well. we’ve all seen how much cocaine his friends do, and heard that Ezra himself is no more than a year past his own cocaine use.
Not only that, but one of his close friends admitted during his rehearsal dinner speech that he stormed the capitol and said that Ezra tried to talk him out of it. Listen, if you’re still hanging out with someone who shamelessly participated in that act of domestic terrorism, you don’t know or care enough about anything to marry any child of mine, and I’ll be right there with Akbar trying to close that romance off.
(Image credit: Netflix) A surprise wedding is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of
This revelation was actually the kicker for me. Remember how I said that Shelley and Akbar arranged it so that Ezra and Amira could meet after being apart for three months? Well, each parent not only apologized to their child’s former partner, but they set up a surprise wedding ceremony so they could get married right away.
I know we’re supposed to think it’s sweet and romantic, but it really is the dumbest damn thing I’ve ever heard of. Neither family has a complete idea of what their child was doing or thinking right before this moment. What if Amira and/or Ezra got to the point where they felt that not being together really was the right move? What if both were now over the other enough to not only start dating, but start having sex with other people? For all we know, both were having sex with other people the night before because they were basically forced into marriage without any prior warning. Make. ZERO. Sentence!
I may not have been the biggest fan of You People, but if you want to watch it yourself, it’s waiting for you on Netflix (opens in new tab).