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You People

You People
2023's You People is a contrived and humorless comedy that is a collaboration between Jonah Hill and Kenya Barris, tbe creator of the ABC sitcom Black-ish that ultimately misses due to a serious lack of chemistry between the stars,

This is the story of the unlikely romance that develope between a 35 year old Jewish guy named Ezra (Hill) and a beautiful Black Muslim woman named Amira (Lauren London) and how cultural clashes and societal pressure eventually tear them apart

It was Barris' part as director and co-screenwriter that initially drew me to this film because I was a huge fan of Black-ish, a smart and funny sitcom that addressed a lot of edgy racial issues that The Cosby Show should have but didn't. Unfortunately, the writing here is smug and cliched as we get the expected blind prejudice from Amira's father (brilliantly played by Eddie Murphy), who comes off as a black version of Jack Burns in Meet the Parents. On the other side of the spectrum, we have Ezra's mother (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss), who works so hard at proving how racially tolerant she is, we get the opposite effect and, just like Ezra, we just want her to shut up. The constant use of the "N" word and the word "Jew" gets tiresome quickly, as do Amira's friends always referring to Ezra as "the white guy."

Barris and Hill attempt to disguise the deficiencies in the story with stellar production values and a serious dose of star power, but the primary reason this film doesn't work is that there is absolutely no chemistry between Hill and London. We never believe the romance is genuine because the destruction of their relatoonship was too easy. Amira's father never giving Ezra a break was something we've seen in a million of ther movies and just because we're nearing the end of the film's two hour running time, he has this ephipany that comes out of nowhere that wraps up the story a way too neat little bow. There was one scene in the movie that really worked for me and that was when Ezra has lunch with Amira's father and mother (Nia Long, who looked AMAZING) to ask their blessing to him proposing to Amira, without her presence or knowledge, a bold move on Ezra's part. The scene is brilliant but it's a ten-minute scene in a two hour movie.

Director Barris does get strong performances from Hill and especially Murphy, who seems to be entering a new phase in his career that he initiated with Mr. Church, but it is the lack of chemistry between Hill and London that eventually does this one in. My first 2023 movie was a real disappointment.