The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

Kenya Barris blends race and religion in new Netflix original


Netflix has released the original movie “You People,” starring Jonah Hill and Lauren London. 

The comedic film follows Ezra Cohen (Jonah Hill) and Amira Mohammed (Lauren London), an interracial couple navigating the blending of their two culturally different families.

The Netflix original featured a star-studded cast of comedians like Jonah Hill, Lauren London, Eddie Murphy, Nia Long and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. This role serves as London’s second since the tragic killing of her fiancé, Nipsey Hussle, in March 2019.

According to the Rolling Stone, critics quickly dubbed and criticized the romantic-comedy as a remake of the 1967 Stanley Kramer film “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” depicting an interracial couple who meet and quickly become engaged and jump through the hurdles of becoming a blended family. 

In response to critics who compared the two films, “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris stated during his Rolling Stone interview that the film was not meant to be a remake or competition but was an idea he and Hill  discussed wanting to shed light on the oppression brought onto the Jewish and Black communities. 

Based in London and Hill’s home of Los Angeles, the unconventional love attempted to add comedic relief to two common social issues: race and religion. Throughout the movie, it successfully explored each religion by educating viewers on Muslim and Jewish terminology and traditions.

“I think the 21st century has evolved by representing more realistic people and not just our idea of people we don’t even know,” said Hailee Pender, freshman journalism & mass communication student. “The families were accurate because they showed everyone’s personality and humanized them instead of just playing off their race and religion.”

Many viewers may not have known London came from a Jewish background like her co-star Hill. Growing up with only her mother, she never got to dig deeper into her Jewish background.

In an interview with People Magazine, London stated she “found elements of her own story in her character.”

Nearly four years after her fiancé was gunned down outside his LA shop, Marathon Clothing Store, London reflected during her interview with People Magazine on how she is still a “work in progress” in her career and everyday life. 

“You People ” is the second movie she signed on to since Hussle’s death, the first being “Without Remorse” starring her and Michael B. Jordan.

London stated how she is still trying to find peace while celebrating her parenting and career success. However she still experiences wishing she had someone to share the opportunity with.

Barris effectively addressed significant issues in the Black community like how Black women are treated by society in today’s climate throughout the film.

He also successfully brings another perspective on how white individuals are treated by the Black community when they do not fit into the typical stereotype of the race.

They are seen as “acting Black” for simply liking a genre of music or wearing a certain style of clothing.

The film featured many microaggressions and stereotypes, mainly of Hill’s character, to minorities that some may find offensive. However, it accurately depicts the reality of interracial families as they strive to understand different backgrounds.

Some viewers of the movie critiqued London and Hill’s on-screen chemistry.

“In my opinion, the movie was decent, however, for it to be a rom-com, it didn’t feel like Jonah Hill and Lauren London were really in love, they seemed more like friends,” Pender continued. “I think they lacked chemistry romantically because they probably are just really good friends in real life.”

“You People” effectively encompasses the true meaning of love and “for better or for worse.” The chemistry between London and Hill showed to be pleasing as they did not let the bigotry of their families stop what brought them together in the first place.

“You People” is available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The A&T Register Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *