2023. R. 117 mins. Directed by Kenya Barris
It seems like every few years we get a new movie about two people falling in love from different backgrounds. When it's time to meet their family's chaos and comedy is supposed to ensue. You People is the latest attempt to try and reinvent this subgenre of romantic comedies. Unfortunately, despite its talented cast the movie doesn't do much to make itself memorable or set itself apart from other movies that are similar.
This is a very straightforward movie in its setup. Jonah Hill stars as Ezra who ends up falling in love with Amira played by Lauren London. Before he can ask her to marry him, he wants to get the approval of her parents played by Eddie Murphy and Nia Long. Amira's parents aren't sure how to feel about their daughter getting married to a white man, but Ezra is determined to win them over. At the same time Amira is tempted to win over Ezra's parents played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny. Both Ezra and Amira end up having a hard time with one another's family and they start to question if they can really be together if their families can't get along.
You People has all the right things in place but just can't ever seem to stick the landing. With such a great cast and Jonah Hill on board as one of the writers as well, this should have been much better than what plays out on screen. Throughout the movie it never feels like the cast builds the right chemistry together which in turn makes things not as humorous as they could have been. There are a few laughs to be had here and there but nothing more than a few chuckles which is a travesty when you have the likes of Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jonah Hill in your cast.
The relationship between Ezra and Amira works at times but then doesn't at certain points. Jonah Hill and Lauren London both give fine performances but even their chemistry doesn't work too well, and it ends up being hard to root for their relationship when it's all said and done. It doesn't help that the movie doesn't try to do anything new with this concept. Every cliche from this type of romantic comedy is hit here and it never feels like the filmmakers want to be different enough to make their movie memorable. It's still early in the year but this will go down as one of the biggest disappointments of the year.
Overall, You People has a great cast that is ultimately let down by a weak script and poor direction. This is as by the numbers as you can get with a romantic comedy. While the cast is trying to do what they can with the material it never reaches a point where the comedy works as well as it should. Add in a run time that is just short of two hours and this is one unfortunately that you can skip.