You know, I’ve been watching so many bloody brilliant movies recently that this one stands out as easily the worst one I’ve watched so far this year. Of course, there’s some tough competition since this is Oscars season and all, but even if there was no competition whatsoever, I can’t imagine many other movies would sit much lower in my rankings than this…
You People is some more Netflix fodder, which puts it in bad stead from the get go really, doesn’t it? I mean, saying something is a ‘Netflix Movie’ is usually a pre-cursor to a room full of groans these days, after all. Co-written by and starring Jonah Hill, the basic premise is a rom-com in which the leading couple consist of a Jewish, middle class white guy (Hill) and a black, Muslim costume designer (played by Lauren London). When they introduce each other to their families though, things become super awkward as culture clashes and societal differences get in the way of their relationship.
Yeeeeeeah. I don’t even know what to say about this one. All you need to know is that at almost two hours long, it’s two hours of your life you’ll never get back.
I’ll preface this by saying it’s not all bad. It’s clear that this movie is supposed to be cringeworthy and pokes fun at how black people and white people (particularly in the USA) respond to the differences they feel between them. I’m sure Jonah Hill and co-writer/director Kenya Barris had nothing but good intentions when they penned the script. The soundtrack is great and the use of graffiti between transitions is super fun. There you go: it’s not all bad… but that’s pretty much where the praise stops.
Alas, sadly, there are more negatives than positives with this one. Is there anything I’ll remember about this movie in four weeks’ time? Very little, I’d wager. There’s a clear attempt to blend social commentary with romantic comedy, yet neither really shine through as original or insightful. It’s obvious that it draws inspiration from Look Who’s Coming to Dinner, but nothing about it comes even close to being as iconic. Plus, it has received a lot of backlash pertaining to its apparent antisemitic views since it was released… Yeesh, it’s really just not good.
There are two saving graces here though, and they come in veterans Eddie Murphy and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The pair of comedy legends work both together and in opposition throughout, with Murphy doing deadpan like no one else can and JLD proving to us all that she’s the master of awkward. In fact, you know what would have worked better? If this movie was about their characters first and foremost rather than trying to force some wishy washy romance as the vehicular storyline. Now that’s a movie I’d watch.
I wish I could say that the technical aspects of this movie were at least good to lift the movie’s rating, but everything – barring the soundtrack – is bland. And that’s before I even mention incredibly slow pacing and a runtime that is not at all warranted. Not worth your time.
You People is currently available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
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