Netflix’s “You People,” like the podcast of its lead character Ezra, played by Jonah Hill, is more of a rant than a subtle satire of modern heterogeneous America’s cultural clashes.
And, like most rants, “You People,” written by Hill and Kenya Barris (also the director), is heavy-handed and obvious but heartfelt in its attempt. The rant-disguising story is a typical boy-meets-girl rom-com. Moreover, despite a strong performance by the lead actors, Jonah Hill and Lauren London, the whimsical rom-com aspect is frequently hampered by the script’s desire to be both culturally significant and funny.

As a result, the film gets torn between a multitude of tangents and does not come across as good at any of those. Is it still watchable? Yes. Because Hill and London do make a good on-screen pair, and their chemistry produces some genuine moments.

You People [2023] Summary and Synopsis:

Ezra (Jonah Hill), a thirty-five-year-old Jewish man, is having the typical life. You know, pondering the path not taken, career-wise, wondering whether he would ever meet a partner who would get him; and the nerve-racking encounters with parents. The usual stuff. His job at investment banking is not a source of joy. His mother, Shelley (Julia Louise-Dreyfus), is always on his case about the lackadaisical and untethered life he leads. Her favorite pastime seems to be setting up Jewish dates for her son. Ezra’s only source of joy is the podcast he and his friend, Mo (Sam Jay), have. Where they make blunt and heavy-handed observations about what Ezra calls ‘Culture.’

The hitherto aloof Ezra meets Amira (Lauren London) in a typical meet-cute where Ezra mistakes her for his Uber driver. The standoffish encounter immediately turns into playful banter. Soon Ezra and Amira become quite fond of each other. Dating turns into a full-fledged relationship, and soon, it becomes important for them to meet each other’s parents.

This is where the problem and fun start for the film. The parents here epitomize the eponymous ‘people.’ Akbar (Eddie Murphy) is a proud Muslim and black man. He visibly struggles to accept his daughter, Amira, dating someone like Ezra, let alone marrying him. And it becomes apparent when Ezra reaches out to him and Fatima (Nia Long), Amira’s mother. With the intention of seeking their approval before proposing to their daughter.

Things only escalate when both sets of parents meet each other. Shelley and Ezra’s father, Arnold’s (David Duchovny), tokenism fuels Akbar and Fatima’s already heightened fanaticism. Shelley confusing an ‘Imam’ with ‘Auntie mom’ does not help, to say the least. With each passing day, the degree of parental hindrances starts to rise. Especially for Ezra, it becomes quite apparent that Akbar is hell-bent on making his life miserable. Things escalate when Akbar joins Ezra at his bachelor party. Ensuring he does not enjoy a single second of the trip to Las Vegas.

You People

For Amira, Shelly proves to be an obstacle of a different kind. Shelly does not intentionally try to make Amira’s life miserable, but her tone-deaf attitude and actions make it difficult for Amira. Especially in front of her friends, Shelly’s ignorance becomes nigh impossible just to be swept under the carpet. The tension and pressure reach the breaking point in the wedding dinner rehearsal. Both Amira and Ezra confront their respective issues. But while doing so, they come to the same conclusion separately. That the familial cultural clash would never let them be happy. So, it is better not to try. They call off their wedding and break up.

You People [2023] Ending Explained: What made Akbar and Shelley change their minds?

Like any other romantic comedy, the next few minutes pass with montages of Ezra and Amira grinding in their respective works, finding success but not looking particularly happy. The implication is that they are still positively forlorn about their breakup. It is understandable, seeing they were not exactly out of love when they broke up. It’s because they could not do more to get their families on board. Hence, they broke up as an unwanted escape.

Shelly is never portrayed as a mean person. She always came across as someone desperately trying to be considered intellectual and woke but not really being so. However, she means well. Akbar was shown to have a genuine conversation with his brother, where the brother admits that he felt Akbar ‘shorted’ Ezra. It’s a bit of a stretch to assume that, that one conversation changed the mindset generated via years worth of experiences and feelings. The same can be said about Shelly too.

But, it does seem that perhaps seeing the sadness in their children’s eyes, Shelly and Akbar realize their mistake. Resultantly, they trick Ezra and Amira into a covert meeting. And both of them apologize. Akbar for his bullying, and Shelly for her ignorance. They promise to do better and stand by the choice made by Ezra and Amira.

The Dichotomy of the Cultures

Parents were the tip of the iceberg. The radically different experiences shaped the mindsets of these two individuals. One can argue that both Akbar and Shelly represent the peaks of the fallacies of the two lovers and their respective social statuses. Akbar’s pride can be seen in Amira in an acceptable dosage. Shelly’s ignorance occasionally rears its head from within Ezra. But at least he is aware of it.

The climax shows the parents becoming more like their children. Although in small measures. Akbar tries to reign in his ego without sacrificing pride. Shelly admits to her failure to understand Amira. And she promises to be more open toward understanding and compassion without resorting to tokenism. So, in the end, when Akbar and Shelly pull their final surprise, it does come across as hopeful. The surprise wedding for Ezra and Amira, where they had no idea and hence no anticipated apprehension, is the perfect gift Shelly and Akbar could have made to their children.

Also, Read: Don’t Worry Darling Movie Ending, Explained – What is the truth behind the Victory Project?

You People (2023) Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Where to watch You People

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