“You People,” A telling story of cultural diffusion


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‘Opposites attract, families don’t.’ “You People”, starring Jonah Hill.

American comedic actor, writer and producer, Jonah Hill, has written and starred in the new romantic comedy, “You People.” A movie that tells the story of Ezra (Jonah Hill), a Jewish broker in Los Angeles played by Jonah Hill, who dreams of entering the industry of content creation in the form of a podcast., Shortly after the first events of the movie, he meets Amira, a young fashion designer of Muslim descent, who is played by actress Lauren London.  

“You People” perfectly and comedically displays the difference between two cultures prominent in America and how they can difficultly blend and come together in the form of two young and not overbearingly progressive individuals falling in love. The movie tackles ignorance between opposite cultures in a lighthearted yet stern way. This can be found both in Ezra’s mother, Shelley (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who is curious yet insensitive, and in Amira’s father, Akbar (Eddie Murphy), who is not only protective of his daughter, but of his culture as well 

The characters of Amira and Ezra blend together easily and this is evident in their familiar taste in fashion and shoe styles. The Sean Wotherspoon Air Max 1/97’s are used as a recurring motif theme in the movie that connects the two, even when they are being separated by their families, which is a testament to how cultural facets can bind two people together. 

Moreover, a great narrative that this movie, and more specifically, Jonah Hill, tackles is how difficult it is for a young white man, who is heavily influenced by black culture, to be accepted into the very culture that he reveres. A recurring concept that I personally deal with often, as being a white and Hispanic young man of Jewish descent who has grown up consuming such culture.  

The way that Ezra is introduced to the African American culture in a way that growing up in a purely Jewish household could never provide is rather emblematic of the societal expectations that opposing cultures have on each other.  

Ezra finds it difficult to be accepted by Amira’s family despite growing up being influenced by everything that their customs have had to offer. Akbar’s reluctance and  resistance to accept Ezra as his son-in-law comes off rather prejudiced and is more related to ancestral trauma instead of how good a man Ezra is. 

The world that we live in today is filled with cultures that use the journey for “equality” as an excuse to do the opposite and block people out from their lifestyles by victimizing themselves and accusing others of ‘cultural appropriation’.  

While “You People” tells the story of two people trying to fall in love despite it being clearly difficult because of each other’s familial beliefs; it also highlights how easy it could be for one culture to accept another if we would truly be open to welcoming people despite their place in society.  



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