'You People' mixes comedy with race

Jonah Hill and ‘Black-ish’ creator Kenya Barris have joined forces to co-write, with Barris directing ‘You People.’

It’s a romantic comedy, centering around a conversation about race and culture. Jonah Hill plays Ezra – a young Jewish man who loves hip-hop culture, and falls in love with Amira, played by Lauren London.

Eddie Murphy stars as Amira’s Dad Akbar Mohammed and his wife Fatima is portrayed by Nia Long.

While they’re not pleased with their daughter’s choice in men… Ezrah’s family feels out-of-sorts and offensive. His parents Shelley and Arnold Cohen are played respectively by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny.

Murphy, who is the father of 10 children… does he get in the middle of his kids’ dating life?

"Well I’m there to give them advice if they ask for it, but I don’t get into who they’re going out with. They only bring people around that are special… and fortunately no one has come home with the devil."

Murphy discusses threading the needle of comedy with the delicate topic of race.

"That’s what attracted me to this script was that it was a romantic comedy. And romantic comedies don’t usually have a racial edge… and having this conversation about race," Murphy says. "And it was super well done, super smart, and the script was so solid. And I thought this would be a cool movie to do. The last time they had a romantic comedy that dealt with race was ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’ It was groundbreaking – 1967 they were having that conversation. And in that movie you never even see Sidney Poitier kiss the girl. So we’re taking conversation much further."

Julia Louis-Dreyfus and David Duchovny worked alongside each other for the first time in this film. The former ‘Seinfeld’ star explains their on-camera chemistry.

"We never worked together before. But when we met and started working – it felt like we had known each other for a long time already," Louis-Dreyfu says.  "And we were like minds as to how to approach these characters as a couple, and as parents. We’re really excited about working on this material because the subject matter is very sensitive… is very serious… and is also exceptionally funny. And I think it’s so well crafted… so well written that it’s a great opportunity to do something new with a romantic comedy."

‘You People’ is available to stream on Netflix Friday, January 27, 2023.