Rated: R
Release Date: 01/27/2023
Production Company: Netflix

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

Director: Kenya Barris. Producers: Kenya Barris. Executive Producers: Andy Berman, Mychelle Deschamps, Matt Dines, E. Brian Dobbins, Alison Goodwin, Charisse M. Hewitt, David Hyman and Hale Rothstein. Screenwriter: Jonah Hill. Cinematographer: Mark Doering-Powell.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

It's baffling how a movie like "You People," which stars Eddie Murphy, Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Nia Long, Mike Epps, David Duchovny and Julia Louis-Dreyfus could be so middling and uninspiring especially since it's directed/co-written by award-winning, comedy king Kenya Barris ("Black-ish").

"You People," which debuts on Netflix Jan. 27, plays in some ways like a contemporary version of Sidney Poitier's 1967 movie "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and 2005's "Guess Who" with Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher and Zoe Saldana.

With “You People," Barris tackles race, politics and religion with his comedic lens and the result is often blurry and surprisingly unfunny.

Jonah Hill ("Don't Look Up") plays Ezra Cohen, a 35-year-old unmarried financial consultant who also has a side gig as a pod-caster with his good friend Mo (Sam Jay, TV's "Bust Down"). They have some interesting takes on Black culture. Ezra isn't in a good place at the moment.

He's not crazy about his finance job and he's getting pressure about dating and marriage from his mother Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever") and father Arnold (David Duchovny, "The Estate").

What are the odds that Ezra would accidently hop into a car thinking it was his Uber and he meets Amira Mohammed (Lauren London, TV's "Games People Play")? Pretty slim. Amira isn't an Uber driver. She merely stopped to check her directions. It's even less likely that Amira would allow this stranger in her car for two seconds, much less carry on a conversation and then suddenly decide to hang out with him.

True love is in the air, or something like that, because Ezra believes he's found the young woman of his dreams. She's Black and pretty too. Big bonus points there.

Before you know it, Ezra is talking marriage. So is Amira. There are roadblocks. Most notably, Ezra's Jewish parents. When they are introduced to Amira, they try to be all hip and cool. Instead, their posturing is lame and embarrassing. They talk about her hair, her nails, police brutality in the black community and rap music among other things. Arnold even attempts to play piano and sing John Legend's "Ordinary People." It's all supposed to be awkwardly funny and yet it's just awkwardly bad.

Amira’s Muslim parents Akbar (Eddie Murphy, "Coming 2 America"/"Dolemite is My Name") who follows Louis Farrakhan, the head of the Nation of Islam, and Fatima (Nia Long, TV's "The Best Man: The Final Chapters") don't fare much better.

They are totally against Amira marrying Ezra and a heated dinner discussion about Blacks and Jews---which goes off the rails--is a big reason why.

There are a few well-earned laughs to be had in "You People," and they come mainly from Murphy, but he doesn't look as if he's having a good time here. Oh, and that bit with the orthodontist asking Ezra to go to the bathroom with him is so out of pocket.

Of course, after the families step back for a minute to confront their own personal prejudices, they seem to realize the errors of their ways and put their feelings aside for the sake of the bride and groom.

Still, "You People" just comes across as too pat and contrived. By the time everything is all tied up nicely with a bright shiny bow, it's too little, too late.

"You People" premieres on Netflix Jan. 27.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "YOU PEOPLE"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
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