check your people [Netflix] – Review in FilmTotaal
Director: Kenya Barris | Screenplay: Jonah Hill, Kenya Barris | Cast: Jonah Hill (Ezra Cohen), Lauren London (Amira Mohammed), Eddie Murphy (Akbar Mohammed), Julia Louis-Dreyfux (Shelley Cohen), David Duchovny (Arnold Cohen), Anthony Anderson (Hairdresser #1), Rhea Perlman (Bubby) , Elliot Gould (Mr. Greenbaum), ea | Time to play: 117 minutes | Year: 2023
The theme is essential in a story. For example Return to the future it’s about time travel, but at its core it’s about how actions in the present can affect the future. It’s strong when a theme is present in virtually every scene, but subtly. not as in Your peoplewhere every moment screams about race and racism.
Ezra and Amira meet, fall in love, and want to get married. But… he’s white, she’s black. And in the United States that is still a problem for a lot of people. Before the wedding day, both lovers try to bond with their in-laws, but one acts inappropriately and the other actively tries to sabotage the marriage.
Your people (title is appropriate) is directed and co-written by Kenya Barris, author of ao BlackAF in Blackish. It’s supposed to be a comedy, and it seems to be at first, when Ezra’s doctor offers to examine his penis for free in the men’s room after mass at the synagogue. The meeting between Ezra and Amira is nice too: rightly so, he gets into her car assuming it’s her cab, eventually convincing her of this too.
But once the family comes together, the rest leave Your people but about one thing. Ezra’s mother overcompensates, seeing Amira as useful proof of how open she is to herself. That creates a series of vicarious cringe moments, and that has to be fun. Ezra also displays this rude behavior towards Amira’s father, and the secondhand embarrassment continues.
It’s so sad that this kind of thinking can seem so prevalent. I wish everyone would take a deep breath and act normal to each other. But that’s not how it works Your peoplebecause according to the creators, it is a new unofficial version of Guess who’s coming to dinner?. Therefore, skin color aversion should be emphasized from start to finish. Is it still really that big of a problem in 2023?
Amira’s father, played by Eddie Murphy, is so ironic it’s hard to believe. He only allows blacks to enter black neighborhoods and have contact with each other. Every non-black person who drinks a cup of coffee in his neighborhood has no business there and contributes to a mixed world. It’s all meant to be fun, but it’s hard to believe.
Ezra is taken to a black hair salon, everyone gives him funny looks when he walks in and someone immediately calls him white. Ezra’s mother and sister arrive at Amira’s bachelorette party and her friends immediately angrily yell “who are these white guys?”. Even the conversations between the couple are only on this topic. Too bad, because they make a nice couple for the camera. Jonah Hill and Lauren London definitely have chemistry.
Your people in a sense, too my big racist wedding can be called. Two people from a different culture want to get married and deal with cultural differences in a fun way. But it’s not old-fashioned Greek traditions, it’s nonsense about people of different skin colors not being able to marry or even interact with each other. Stupid ideas like staying within your own club. If you are white, only go among white people in white neighborhoods. And vice versa. Don’t take the word partnership too literally.
There is nothing wrong with tackling racism and race relations in a humorous way. But do it well and in a fun way, and don’t shove it down your throat without qualifying or leaving room for any other theme or idea, as in Your people.
Your people can be seen in Netflix.