← Back to Reviews
You People

Would you like to watch a movie where characters are either as racist as humanly possible or as stupid as humanly possible, all while trying to create a misguided social commentary with less sublety than a clown throwing a pie in his own face?

You've come to the right place.

Let's start with the story, which is pretty simple. Ezra is doing a podcast every week with his friend Mo, which is centered around black culture. He bumps into a woman while stepping into the wrong car called Amira. They start clicking with each other and fall in love, but the Jewish ancestry on Ezra's side and Muslim ancestry on Amira risks causing a cultural collision between their families.

Look, I am for a wellmade and funny social commentary on racial relations. And with Eddie Murphy thrown into the mix it couldn't be anything less than at least watchable, could it?


Right off the bat, the characters are complete garbage. Ezra's entire schtick seems to be an annoying hipster who dresses in clothes to look even more like he's "with it". If you're expecting the usual raunchy, yet endearing qualities Jonah Hill is so good at pulling off, they are nowhere to be found. He is basically playing a cliché and nothing else.

And that's the case with all of them. Mo is the sassy best friend, Shelley always messes up trying to impress black people, Akbar thinks every white person is out to get him, Fatima is just the supportive wife, Amira is either there to look uncomfortable or be a boring generic love interest, and Arnold... well, he is just an idiot who says whatever comes to mind. Not once do these characters ever step out of their one-note characterizations and show any nuance to their personalities. So in the end you are left with a painfully dull and annoying bunch of people who the script is trying as hard as possible to make you find interesting or be entertained by, but you're not.

This shines through in the dialogue, which is forced and almost robotic in the way it's written. Are we supposed to believe anyone actually talks like this? You even have characters popping up randomly just to comment on someone's skin color. No wonder Ezra feels so uncomfortable throughout the movie, he can barely step out of the door without a racist comment getting hurled at him! What kind of worldview are we really promoting here? Is civilization so doomed that no matter what we can never try and reach some sort of mutual understanding with each other? What a depressing and cynical message.

The worst scene in the movie is where Ezra is mad at Akbar for instigating conflict during dinner. Instead of seeing where he's coming from, his girlfriend Amira immediately accuses him of stereotyping her father as an angry black man. What the hell? You literally saw for yourself how hostile Akbar's attitude was. Her attempting to "call" Ezra out for using a racist stereotype makes no sense since he was simply describing what actually happened.

But let's look at the other side of the coin. Shelley tries throughout to seem as progressive and openminded as she can, to the point where she goes too far and basically treats Amira more like a stone idol than an actual person. That's a fine satirical idea, except for the fact that they hammer home this point so much that it's obnoxious more than funny, and once again uses dialogue that doesn't sound like it comes from a real person. When Get Out did the same kind of humor it sounded realistic since there was actual comedic timing and didn't forcibly inject it into every single scene.

While the characters are irredeemable however, the acting is thankfully passable. No doubt that Eddie Murphy playing his character completely straight was a huge mistake since this desperately could have used some of his classic energy, but given that his character is supposed to be stoic and serious he still did a competent job. Julia Louis-Dreyfus gives the best performance, clearly trying her hardest even though the material she gets is less than satisfactory. David Duchovny is good as usual. Lauren London is decent. Jonah Hill I have mixed feelings on. He has no chemistry with London in the slightest, but whenever he has scenes with Murphy he seems to come off a bit better.

The soundtrack is both overbearing and overused. There are scene transitions with mediocre rap songs used ad nauseum, to the point where I had to change the volume on my TV over and over again since it's always 3 times higher than the dialogue. Please learn how to properly mix the audio!

The only one who's coming to dinner are Kenya Barris and Jonah Hill themselves. I hope you enjoy your meal.