You People

By Joanna Langfield

Jonah Hill’s romantic comedy is full of heart. Maybe that’s the problem.

We could use a good, pungent look at a lot of the stuff mentioned in this romantic comedy, written by and starring Jonah Hill. I’m not saying Kanye or Chapelle style, I’m talking reasonable, honest reflection. And I suppose that’s what Hill is trying to do in this interracial love story. But he just kind of glides over the obvious, acknowledging what is almost stereotypical Jewish and, perhaps, bringing a lighter touch to the Black family that wanted their daughter to settle down with a nice Muslim boy. And, not to spoil the you-know-it’s-coming ending, but would any family actually feel good about two thirty-somethings starting a life together when they are relying on an income from a podcast?

Okay. The bottom line is not all that bad, just disappointing. When you’ve got Eddie Murphy on board, use him. I’m not saying Murphy, who has proven himself to be a top notch dramatic actor, always has to be funny. He shouldn’t. But. Opportunities for him to dig in, to make more of a mark than he does here are staring us all right in the face. And they’re never tapped. David Duchovny, Sam Jay and Nia Long all have their moments, but it’s only Julia Louis-Dreyfus who hits the sweet spot, gleefully arch as the Jewish mother who loves her baby just SO SO much, she bends way over the line to make her new familial additions feel comfy. Still, it was more acute fun when Bradley Whitford announced “I would have voted for Obama for a third term if I could” in Jordan Peele’s superb Get Out. To expect Hill to be Peele isn’t fair, but if he’d only added more salt to his honey here, we might have had something.