Rewind time and recall that Kenya Barris, the creator of Black-ish, signed a mega-deal to produce series and films for Netflix. That was 2018. By January 2021, Barris broke up with Netflix, dissatisfied with the inability to be as “edgy” as he wanted. He said he wants to do “in-your-face sh-t” but felt the folks at Netflix wants stuff that is “down the middle”. Given that Netflix’s business is built on being “everything to everyone”, that tracks. But, just because Barris walked away from his nine-figure deal—don’t worry, he landed on his feet at the new BET Studios—doesn’t mean he didn’t have to wrap up some stuff for Netflix. One such thing is the film You People, which Barris directs and also co-wrote with Jonah Hill.
Hill stars as a white guy who wants to marry the daughter of characters played by Eddie Murphy and Nia Long, so it’s a reverse Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? vibe. The teaser is funny, mainly because it’s an uncut scene of Hill’s character trying to pitch himself as a prospective partner and wiping out horribly in the moment. More teasers should just be short scene excerpts, it gives such a good sense of what we’re working with, and what we’re working with in You People is a familiar concept executed by funny people. There are worse things in the world, especially come January, the fabled boneyard of cinema. If we get even a halfway decent movie in January, I get excited just because the whole month is usually such hot garbage. So, either You People is secretly terrible, and this is the only good scene in the movie, or it’s at minimum fine, and it’s pushed off to January because Glass Onion is Netflix’s big December release. At the very least, I’m curious to see what Kenya Barris’s parting gift to Netflix looks like.