Sunday 12 February 2023

Movie Review: You People (2023)

Genre: Satirical Romantic Comedy
Director: Kenya Barris
Starring: Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Running Time: 118 Minutes

Synopsis: In Los Angeles, 35-year-old Ezra (Jonah Hill) falls in love with Amira (Lauren London). He is white and Jewish, she is black and Muslim. They quickly make plans to get married, but Ezra's mother Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) tries too hard to be liberal in front of her future daughter-in-law, and Amira's father Akbar (Eddie Murphy) is determined to persuade Ezra he is unfit to marry into black culture.

What Works Well: The cast is talented and willing, with Eddie Murphy (arrogant passive-aggressiveness) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (socially and culturally hyper-clueless) leaning hard into their roles. A few jokes and humorous moments do land, including the culmination of a dinner-from-hell.

What Does Not Work As Well: Star Jonah Hill and director Kenya Barris co-wrote the script, and they veer too far into a bizarre - and quickly tiresome - world where race and religion are the only topics of often vulgar conversation. Meanwhile, the romantic elements are tepid at best. Plenty of dialogue appears improvised and undisciplined, and needless to say, the final resolution is bland enough to negate everything that preceded it. The content does not come close to justifying 118 minutes of running time.

Conclusion: An attempt to satirize the overheated culture wars predictably flounders.

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