The Stream: Too forced and awkward at times
The Big Screen: Funny with a great cast
The Final Bill: A nice, fresh romantic comedy that gets a bit too much Kenya Barris treatment at times– S2S: Movie Review
Director: Kenya Barris
Writers: Jonah Hill, Kenya Barris
Stars: Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: R (strong language)
Runtime: 1 hour 53minutes
Production Companies: Khalabo Ink Society, Misher Films, Netflix
Platform: Netflix released January 27, 2023
Coming Soon: Extraction 2, Your Place Or Mine, Pain Hustlers, Murder Mystery 2, and Luther: The Fallen Sun
Welcome back, Streamers. Let’s start the year off awkward yet cultured with You People. Because you people just don’t get it sometimes. Either way, this Netflix flick follows a new couple and their families, who find themselves examining modern love and family dynamics amidst clashing cultures, societal expectations and generational differences. Let’s see how it goes.
First off, JONAH HILL DOES NOT LOOK LIKE A 35 YEAR OLD?! If he’s 35, then I probably look horrible out here! Nevertheless, the cast of this movie is so extensive and hilarious. Let’s start with Eddie being raw Eddie again. Sam Jay during the podcast is real and funny. Mike Epps in his limited time made me spit out my highball a couple times. The cast other than being funny are just as awkward as they are supposed to be. Julia Louis Dreyfus can’t get anymore awkward white mom and the rest of the cast pulls their same weight. Jonah Hill is the only one who feels mostly miscast in this role. I feel like there’s a swagger necessary this white guy couldn’t pull off in this role. I mean I know Robin Thicke isn’t doing anything right now. Joking but seriously, just something about Lauren and Jonah just doesn’t fit. It doesn’t ruin the movie because he’s pretty funny but where’s the Shabby Hanks kind of guy for this role. I laughed as I wrote that. Either way, the cast is definitely what holds this movie together.
Just to be honest, the movie is awkward and stressful. Now, that’s exactly what Kenya Barris is going for with this movie. In a way, this movie succeeds to exactly the way “Black-ish” and “Black AF” did. Barris has a way of forcing a narrative upon a show or movie and it just makes the movie awkward. There are times when things are going well and we’re laughing and tense due to the race relations but then there’s just super-forced, awkward scenes where someone would never say all of those things at once. You might get a couple but not the full spectrum of clueless white person back-to-back-to-back or militant black person back-to-back-to-back. Now, that’s where this movie becomes more like a “Black AF” rather than a “Black-ish”, which clearly means one has 8 seasons and “Black AF” should definitely never have a second season. Now, I’d actually definitely watch a first year of marriage sequel to You People, but I’d also be afraid Kenya might overdo it with his flavor as well. I’d have the fear that the movie just makes it too awkward and whiny like “Black AF” instead of funny and heartfelt like “Black-ish”.
At the end of the day, just like race relations in this country and world, there are problems. You People is a good clever romantic comedy that hinges on interracial relations in the world. While a few parts feel forced and awkward, like Kenya Barris, the rest feels like love and hilarity. Driven by a big cast and extended ensemble of minor characters, You People gets the point across. As a streaming option, you’d definitely find worse but not too many better. Grab a bowl of popcorn and flip over to Netflix when you get a chance to sit in a romantic tense situation with some good laughs. Run the Marathon with this one… that’s for you NIPSEY!