Kenya Barris’ Netflix comedy film “You People” revolves around the struggles of an interracial couple. It is essentially a two-hour-long commentary on white guilt, racial tension, and Black frustration. While focusing on the socio-political aspect of it, “You People” missed out on the essence of a romantic comedy. We are introduced to two characters, but we barely get to know them. It is a pity how unexplored the character of Amira remained. We are asked to believe that they are madly in love, but we never get to understand what brought them together other than a few similar materialistic choices. What follows is a “meet the parents” scenario, where the two families cannot get over their differences. The humor is dry, and the romance is unimaginably boring. “You People” might have sounded great while bouncing ideas, but it never found its ground and ended up a flat rom-com.
‘You People’ Plot Summary: What Is The Film About?
Ezra is a 35-year-old Jewish man who tries hard to be part of the hip and happening crowd. He works in finance but wishes to make podcasting his full-time career. He and his best friend, Mo, run a podcast together where they discuss “the culture.” His dating life was quite bland; every woman he met never seemed to understand him completely. Unexpectedly, one day, when he booked an Uber and hopped into the car, he found the woman of his dreams. Amira was not his Uber driver, and she called him a racist for thinking that any Black woman driving a car was there to serve a white man. But when Ezra showed her the picture of his Uber driver (who looked just like her), she laughed it off. She was new to the town, and he helped Amira reach her place of work. Their strange encounter led to a couple of dates.
It was not easy for Amira to accept that she was interested in a white man, especially knowing how her family would react to the news. When her brother asked her about her white love interest in front of her father, she denied it, saying she was dating a Black Muslim man, just like her father would prefer. Akbar was a proud man who detested how the spaces that used to consist of all-Black people had slowly attracted a mixed crowd. His opinion further confused Amira about the choice she was making. But when she was with Ezra, it all felt just right. Their conversations were never awkward, and he had a cuteness and charm that she could not deny. After spending a night together making love, Amira decided to make their relationship official. She knew what she was getting herself into, but she believed it was all worth it for what she shared with Ezra. Making their relationship official meant meeting the parents, something that both Ezra and Amira feared but wanted to get over with.
What Happened When Erza And Amira’s Parents Met?
Ezra introduced Amira to his parents, and it did not go as smoothly as he would have preferred. Shelley, Ezra’s mother, tried way too hard to make Amira feel comfortable, and it ended in awkward banter. She wanted to demonstrate how progressive she was as a Jewish parent, and to do so, she brought up police brutality and the beauty of black women’s hair in the discussion. This was getting worse than he had imagined, and to make it stop, Ezra pulled his mother away from Amira. While he tried to make her understand how her comments made Amira feel uncomfortable, she thought she was trying her best to be inclusive. During their conversation, Ezra mentioned how he wanted to propose to Amira for marriage. Shelley was happy for her son, and what made her all the more excited was the fact that she would have Black grandchildren, and her family would now be a family of color. Clearly, Shelley wanted to become a part of the conversation, and having Amira as her daughter-in-law would make it easier for her. Amira was nothing but an object for Shelley to show off to her friends to prove how progressive and culturally open she was.
While meeting Ezra’s parents was as awkward as it could be, impressing Amira’s parents was no piece of the cake. Akbar was repulsed by the idea of the man Amira wanted to be with. Ezra seemed too phony and unsuitable for his daughter. He was not the Black Muslim man Akbar had dreamed his daughter would bring home, and he found it difficult to accept her decision. Before proposing to Amira, Ezra wanted the approval of her parents. But their uncomfortable exchange in Roscoe’s barely left any hope for their future together. Ezra expressed his disappointment when Amira asked him the reason why he decided to meet her parents out of the blue. Amira was quite taken when she realized that Ezra wanted her parents’ approval before proposing to her. He believed it was all ruined, but she encouraged him to not give up and continue with his plan. He proposed to her, and she gleefully accepted it. She decided to go against her parents and build a future with Ezra. No matter how difficult their parents were, Ezra and Amira were determined to sort out their differences together. They believed that if they met multiple times, they might start enjoying each other’s company.
The family dinner turned out to be a disaster when Shelley tried comparing the Holocaust with Black slavery, enraging Akbar and Fatima. To make matters worse, Shelly mistakenly burned down Akbar’s kufi, which was gifted by Louis Farrakhan. The feud between their parents started to affect Ezra and Amira’s relationship. Amira wanted to marry according to her father’s wish, creating further conflict with Ezra. They also realized that bringing their entire families together was not the best idea, and they decided to meet their parents separately. Ezra went on a drive with Akbar, and he intentionally took him to a Black salon to show how they would never fit together. He even encouraged Ezra to play a game of basketball just to tease him. While he hoped he would film a humiliating video of Ezra failing at the sport, instead, Ezra proved him wrong and excelled at it. Akbar realized that not all of Ezra was pretentious or a desperate attempt to fit in; he was a genuine person, though that was not enough to win his trust. Meanwhile, Amira was invited by Shelley to a predominantly white spa, where she tried to establish how she, as her would-be mother-in-law, was affected by racial discrimination. They could not solve the issues that bothered them even after meeting the parents separately. Ezra’s best friend, Mo, pointed out that no matter how progressive society became, a white person and a black person could not be together. The history is too difficult to look past for any black person, making it impossible to engage with a white person. Ezra did not wish to believe in what Mo had pointed out, and he continued to try and make the wedding happen.
Ezra went to a bachelor party with his friends, but shockingly, Akbar and Omar joined them. Akbar wanted to make sure that Ezra was not having “too much fun” with his friends. Meanwhile, Shelley and Liza joined Amira and her friends. Her tone-deaf remarks and inquisitiveness led to further awkwardness and chaos. Both Ezra and Amira returned home irritated, and they struggled to maintain the sanity of their relationship. Adjusting to the families became all the more difficult during the rehearsal dinner. Ezra could not overlook Akbar’s humiliating tone whenever he introduced him to his family. Ezra confronted Akbar, explaining how his preconceived hatred for him had influenced his perception and that no matter how much he loved and cared for his daughter or how hard he tried to prove himself, his opinion would never change. Meanwhile, when Shelley discussed how she was trying to study Black hairstyles, Amira shut her down, calling her out for her offensive tone and inappropriate behavior. She refused to be the toy that she could show off to her friends. After finally expressing how they truly felt about their parents, Ezra and Amira decided to discuss their relationship. They both felt that even though they were happiest with each other, it was impossible for them to continue as a couple. Their social differences were far too much to look past.
‘You People’ Ending Explained: What Brought Ezra And Amira Together? Did Their Parents Accept Their Relationship?
After the breakup, Ezra finally started to pursue his full-time podcast career. Akbar listened to his show, where he discussed how Mo was right when they stated that Black people and white people could never come together. He believed that love cannot be enough for an interracial couple to survive; the outside factors weigh in much more, and that pulls the couple apart. Akbar’s brother EJ made him realize how he must have been wrong about Ezra. While he might have had his reasons to doubt him, he did overdo it, and his behavior affected not just Ezra but also his own daughter.
Both Akbar and Shelley were affected by the podcast, and they decided to come together and fix what they had messed up. They decided to bring Ezra and Amira to a spot together and give them another chance at their relationship. They apologized for their behavior and for being a disappointment to their children. Ezra and Amira expressed how badly they missed each other’s company, and as they walked into the gallery, they realized that their families had arranged for their wedding.
In the most unexpected yet comforting way, Ezra and Amira were declared husband and wife. While they had gone their separate ways owing to the differences between their families, it was their families who realized that their kids did not make a mistake by choosing one another; it was they who never tried to understand Ezra and Amira’s relationship with an open mind. “You People” ends with the couple finally getting married and their families forming a bond after getting over their differences. While the couple seemed to lack agency, considering how they were easily manipulated by their families, the film ends on a hopeful note for their future.