In Netflix’s comedy YOU PEOPLE, a 35-year-old Jewish stockbroker named Ezra dreams of being a podcaster and making a healthy living. Ezra meets a black costume designer named Amira from a Muslim family and asks her to marry him. However, their parents have hilarious preconceptions of each other’s cultures and faiths. That, and Amira’s strict Black Muslim father, sets up numerous funny situations and funny dialogue.
YOU PEOPLE is co-written by Jonah Hill, who plays Ezra, and Director Kenya Barris of TV’s BLACK-ISH series. They’ve created a movie that has great culture clashes and touching humanity. They manage to show the good and bad sides of both sets of parents, while also offering an insightful look at current racial divisions. Their movie also places admirable importance on marriage. All the actors do a great job, especially Eddie Murphy and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss as the would be bride’s father and the groom’s mother. Sadly, YOU PEOPLE is riddled with dozens of obscenities, some strong profanities, a few references to the false cult-like Black Muslim faith, some lewd jokes, and cocaine jokes in one scene.
(PaPa, B, FRFR, LLL, V, SS, NN, DD, M):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong mixed pagan worldview about a white 35-year-old Jewish man planning to marry a black costume designer who has a strict Black Muslim father who admires Louis Farrakhan, so there are some obvious tensions between the father and the Jewish man’s parents, especially his mother, mitigated by a positive view of marriage, but the movie sometimes shows the Black Muslims favorably, and the wedding is officiated by a Muslim imam and a Jewish rabbi
At least 91 obscenities (including at least 31 “f” words) four GD profanities, two Jesus profanities, eight light profanities, and nearly 30 uses of the N word between Black characters and in the rap music
A man’s hat catches on fire, leading to a comical scene of everyone trying to put it out. A woman accidentally rips the braids off a Black woman’s head
A group of men at a bachelor party play with female ‘blow-up dolls,” holding them in perverse positions for laughs, and a podcast conversation between hosts mentions a “strap on,” makes a reference to anal sex, and says “suck it”
Several female naked “blow up dolls” are seen in an extremely brief montage, with men holding them in perverse sexual positions
Some casual alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
A photo of President Obama is shown as two men rave about how cool he was for smoking Newport brand cigarettes, men at a bachelor party in Vegas snort lines of cocaine and ask the groom how to contact a dealer as Ezra frantically tries to get them to stop and change the subject; and,
General attitudes of disrespect displayed among the parents towards a Jewish-Black couple such as potential father-in-law consciously tries to hurt groom and give up the relationship with his daughter, while groom’s mother incessantly brings up unwitting black stereotypes around future daughter-in-law.
A 35-year-old Jewish broker named Ezra (Jonah Hill) dreams of being a podcaster making a healthy living. He meets an African-American woman named Amira (Lauren London) who knocks his socks off and soon they are deeply in love and wishing to marry. But, their parents on both sides – Shelley Cohen (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and her husband Arnold (David Duchovny) as Ezra’s parents, and Akbar (Eddie Murphy) and Fatima (Nia Long) – have hilarious preconceptions of each other’s cultures and faiths that set up numerous awkwardly funny situations and terrifically funny dialogue – which is unfortunately riddled with obscenities.
As Ezra and Amira navigate their way through meeting each other’s parents and preparing for the wedding to have both Jewish and Muslim cultures to be respected, the movie has a constant string of deadpan moments with people saying comically stereotypical things that are gasp-inducing but entertaining.
YOU PEOPLE was co-written by Jonah Hill and his director Kenya Barris (TV’s BLACK-ISH, GIRLS TRIP), and the two have created a movie that has great culture clashes and touching humanity as the story plays out. They manage to show the good and bad sides of both sets of parents, while also offering an insightful look at the current state of racial relations in America, and relations between Jews and Black Muslims. It also places an admirable importance on marriage.
All the actors do a great job, with Murphy playing strongly against his usually manic type, making his Akbar a master of deadpan delivery and hilarious angry stares. As Shelley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is his polar opposite, full of manic energy as she says and does one “wrong” thing after another while encountering black culture. However, sadly, the movie features dozens of obscenities and about 15 or more profanities. The foul language is treated comically and fits the dynamics of Hill and Murphy in particular and the rap music world they joke about a couple of times, but it’s still off-putting.
The movie ultimately has a strong emotional approach to the characters grow and reconcile with each other in well-written, non-sappy fashion. The movie also presents marriage as an important part of life, one meant to be taken seriously and respectfully.
Thus, the foul language and the bachelor party’s brief montage of men comically fooling around with some “blow-up dolls” are a major detraction that will derail the movie for some viewers. They will be a deal breaker for many viewers, even though YOU PEOPLE has some rewarding aspects.
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