Netflix’s Newest Hit ‘You People’ Takes Jewish Flack
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Netflix’s Newest Hit ‘You People’ Takes Jewish Flack

Like it or hate it, “You People” elicits some lively discussions.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

“You People” examines both lenses of interracial marriage from the Black Muslim point of view and liberal California Jewish posturing.
“You People” examines both lenses of interracial marriage from the Black Muslim point of view and liberal California Jewish posturing.

Social media led with strident reactions to the new Netflix movie, “You People,” starring Jonah Hill and Eddie Murphy, portraying a modern look at love amid counter cultures — in this case a Jewish male (Hill) wanting to marry a Black woman at odds with societal expectations and generational differences.

Billed as a comedy, it was indeed that. In today’s woke world, who looked worse, Blacks or Jews or both? Ultimately, both families want the best for their kids, and sometimes that means surfacing some touchy adages, “If you marry someone of another culture, marriage in itself has enough challenges, don’t compound that with blending families and different beliefs.”

Viewers weighed in. Terry Lakritz said, “‘You People’ showed great talent, and speaking from experience, it’s real! Glad I saw it but can’t say I loved it or hated it.”

Renee Paula said, “As someone in an interfaith and interracial marriage…I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus (mother) was a caricature trope, a well-intentioned white woman, who [showed] white fragility. Eddie Murphy hit too hard as the angry bitter Black man trope. My husband and I agree that it was funny, yet a slightly offensive attempt at a Hallmark movie with cussing.”

“You People” on Netflix is drawing negative feedback from Jewish viewers…all about the stereotyping.

“You People” is an equal opportunity offender. Jews look bad type cast in liberal Los Angeles where Jewish mother (Louis-Dreyfus) is falling all over herself trying to be accepting and understanding of her future Black daughter-in-law. She’s awkward at doing it, and ultimately got lambasted, “You never got to know me. All you wanted was me to be your cute toy to brag to your friends that I am Black.”

On the other hand, Murphy, in a serious role as the black Muslim father, is judgmental and fawns over noted antisemite Louis Farrakhan. Murphy drives an upscale car, and is contrasted with his “more ghetto-like” brother who has not taken on an Islamic persona. Does this endorse Farrakhan’s beliefs (which are not stated) or are they symbolic of his failure when Farrakhan’s prayer hat is caught on fire, and stomped past recognition? Not a positive image.

Two characters, Hill’s gay sister and “out of it” father, played by David Duchovny, are miscast and add nothing to the mix. Especially fun are appearances by old timers Elliot Gould, Rhea Perlman, and Richard Benjamin…still in the game, charming as ever.

Jonah Hill (right) both co-wrote and starred in the movie. He’s likable, and not, at the same time.

Kenya Barris and Hill wrote the script. Hill, as the groom, was likable to a point. He truly loves Amira (fiancé) and wants to care for her, but then he repeatedly lies and gets caught, about small things…trying to pretend that he knows who Langston Hughes is, getting into deeper holes defending himself.

The star of the movie and the “truth teller” is Hill’s Black LGBTQ+ podcast partner with a lively sub plot where they earnestly discuss race relations. She espoused, “You white people just don’t get it. It’s like a woman whose husband cheated. She is always looking over his shoulder and can’t forgive him. We just can’t forgive white people for what you did to us,” a closed door leaving little hope.

As liberal as the Jewish parents are, mawkishly super accepting, there’s one telling scene with a “hard stop.” As both the Jewish and Black parents are dining and getting acquainted, the Jews state that they have “a good rabbi to perform the ceremony.” Murphy insists that a Muslim imam do the service. Louis-Dreyfuss and the normal deadpanned Duchovny grimace — an outcome too far.

Jewish Women of Atlanta on Facebook heralded more weigh-ins.

Lisa Steinmetz Morchower said, “The movie let Eddie Murphy’s character rave about Farrakhan without much push back. Louis-Dreyfus’ character was too scared to say anything and that would have been a great place to say something.”

Janice Perlis Ellin felt even stronger. “The show had absolutely nothing redeeming and placed Jews in an unrealistic negative light. I simply do not understand the appeal of this movie.”

Leah Stock-Landis chimed in, “Too heavy handed with stereotypes. I found it stilted with one-dimensional portrayals of what could have been an interesting film.”

Rita Yanchuck Kessler added, “Couldn’t get through it. Stereotypes were overdone and too woke.”

Sheina Liberow-Kavka commented, “…I did not like the whole Holocaust/slavery comparison.”

And Hula Brod Isseks said, “I hated ‘You People’…very cringey. The specific joke about grandma’s Holocaust ring was not funny and came out on Holocaust Remembrance Day…there’s a lot of Holocaust denial in this country, just wasn’t funny.”

Wendy Eisner Lenard commented, “Loved it…I thought it showed great insight into how some of us parents present ourselves, trying to navigate situations in regards to race and relationships with our adult children…it was as much about the couple as the parents fecklessly trying to do what was right.”

Yes, “You People” was tasteless, crass, and out right goofy. I just hate myself for liking it.

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