Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy in “You People” 2023. IMDb photo

I came to like the young Jonah Hill when he was the “6 year kid” on Saturday Night Live. It was a hilarious bit and SNL repeated it, to my delight, many times.

Then young Hill went sideways and off the Pacific Coast highway of showbiz.

“21 Jump Street” and “22 Jump Street” and the “Wolf of Wall Street” wiped, for me, the gloss of this new young comic actor.

But something happened this week when Kenya Barris, the creator of “Black-ish,” which I never saw, debuted his first out of the bench feature film, “You People.”

There was Hill all grown up, still overweight and bearded, but showing real pain in the clutches with Eddie Murphy, and I was impressed.

I don’t have the time to follow careers. I barely followed my own thin career, and it is probable that Hill has delivered some really good, human loaded stuff while I was looking away.


But here in “You People” is a mature, flawed, Jewish Los Angeles guy in his 30s, still looking for love.

The L.A. bar mitzvah boy is grown up, smoking too many joints, addicted to expensive sneakers, hanging out with the wrong people, but luckily anchored to parents and a strict grandma (David Duchovny and Julia Louis-Dreyfus and an unused Rhea Perlman) — a backup cast of solid players seemingly packed into the picture to add some weight.

They should have trusted Jonah.

OK, let’s skip the backup cast with all of their sitcom flaws, and get to the plot.

Ezra, that’s Hill’s character, jumps into a meet cute meet by hailing what he thinks is an Uber rental and is assaulted by Amira, very un-Uber young Black woman (Lauren London “This Christmas”).

Lauren beats him with her packages and screams for help, drawing a crowd bigger than this sitcom will.


“You People” moves along though the normal sitcom bus ride, white Jewish boy meets lovely Black girl and they fall in love. We see trouble coming, not because of their different races and really different religions. Actually, they’re young Hollywood kids with no religion baggage, but their parents do.

A far left liberal with no political education and Louis-Dreyfus and Duchovny, a boring podiatrist, are Rodeo Drive Jews and accept Amira right away with pages full of patronizing dialogue, hence the title “You People.”

This is where it all falls apart. Louis-Dreyfus lays it on with an embarrassing bucket of sitcom Beverly Hills overdrive, and Duchovny, looking tired and bored, picks a Black artist song to play on the piano.

It starts to pick up when Amira’s daddy Akbar (Eddie Murphy), an architect, steps in. Amira is in trouble. He’s a converted Muslim carrying a suitcase of prejudice. Of course.

Amira’s mom Fatima (Nia Long “The Best Man”) goes along with daddy Akbar, but we know that won’t last long.

My problems with “You People” are too many for my limited space, but really, Louis-Dreyfus and Duchovny, thin and pretty, brought this heavy set boy into the world? Even his grandma, Rhea Pearlman, is only 8 pounds wet.

Murphy tries to play it straight, a proud Muslim and a devotee of Louis Farrakhan? Louis Farrakhan?? Watch those Jewish eyebrows go up when that hits the dinner party.

The ending is full of surprises — both for the families and us. “You People” streams on Netflix. What have you got to lose?

J.P. Devine of Waterville is a former stage and screen actor.

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