You People is a failed attempt at both a social commentary and a romantic comedy



The poster for You People where all the main characters sit together

Racism is, undeniably, a sensitive topic. Even so, it is still an issue that filmmakers continually attempt to touch upon—whether it be the focus of their movie or a mere moment of acknowledgment. To nobody’s surprise, many movies fall flat on their attempt, including the romcom You People.

You People follows the chronically single and socially awkward Ezra Cohen (Jonah Hill) and the self-assured, independent Amira Mohammad (Lauren London). The two have their not-so-cute-meets-cute when Ezra accidentally gets into Amira’s car, having mistaken her for the Uber he had ordered. When the continuous shouting finally stops, Ezra offers to help Amira find her way around the city, seeing as she is very obviously lost.

Not long after, the two start dating. Six months later, Ezra is planning on proposing to Amira. The two seem almost destined for their happily-ever-after without any complications; that is, until you add their families into the picture—who seem to disagree on every aspect of everything—causing a wedge between the soon-to-be-wed couple.

From the film’s first line to its last scene, it becomes apparent that the movie has an endless supply of shortcomings—from the most basic parts of the film to minute details forgotten. Even the most distracted person would find them hard to ignore.

One of the most crucial parts of a film is the dialogue; it is what makes the interactions between characters seem more natural rather than part of a made-up story created for our entertainment. To fall flat on the dialogue means that an integral part of the film has failed, and that is exactly what happens with You People

From the film’s first line to its last scene, it becomes apparent that the movie has an endless supply of shortcomings—from the most basic parts of the film to minute details forgotten.

When it came to the conversations between Ezra and his best friend Mo (Sam Jay) especially, they just seemed so unnatural. The filmmakers tried to fit in as many pop culture references as possible in an attempt to, what my guess would be, make it more relatable to a younger audience but it instead just comes off as if the people writing the script have never had a real conversation. Even all the big-name actors in this film couldn’t make the dialogue less awkward.

It is apparent from when the couple first meets that the film is a social commentary on the struggles of an interracial marriage—especially when both sides’ parents are stuck in their own stereotypical thinking. The movie’s overall message is a positive one: your view of someone should not be defined by outside factors, such as religion or race, but rather by how they are as an individual. However, the actual execution of it all is a rough and lengthy one. 

Rather than having the audience come to the conclusion of what the overarching message is, the film shoves it right into your face. At times, they just blatantly say it instead of having the audience conclude it on their own.

As the movie came to an end, I found myself immensely confused by the various details that the film had introduced but seemingly ended up forgetting about. One that stuck out to me particularly was when Amira was first telling her dad, Akbar (Eddie Murphy), about Ezra, who she was about to start dating. Amira tells Akbar that Ezra is a Black man, a race that Akbar would approve of since they themselves are Black, rather than the truth that Ezra is white. Akbar’s initial impression of Ezra being a Black man is clearly forgotten moments after because when Akbar meets Ezra for the first time, notably behind Amira’s back, Akbar seems unphased by the fact that his daughter had lied to him about the race of her boyfriend. Instead, what he was more concerned about was the fact that Ezra was white.

If I had to use two words to describe the way I felt throughout the movie, it would be frustrated and embarrassed. From the dialogue to the message, You People struggles to concisely put everything together, and it isn’t a movie I’d see myself watching again, now or later.