Content Caution

You People 2023 movie


In Theaters


Home Release Date




Emily Tsiao

Movie Review

Ezra is a broker who dreams of starting a podcast with his best friend, Mo. Amira is a costume designer who’s still trying to catch her big break.

At a glance, they don’t have much in common. Ezra comes from a white Jewish family while Amira comes from a Black Muslim one. They have no mutual friends. They’re polar opposites in terms of background, religion and culture.

But somehow, it’s still practically love at first sight. And pretty soon, the pair makes plans to wed.

Just one problem: While the two lovebirds respect their differences and have found commonality in feeling “seen” by the other, their families just can’t seem to put those differences aside.

Ezra’s mom, Shelly, while vocally ecstatic, treats Amira like an object she can use to prove how “woke” she is to her friends.

Amira’s dad, Akbar, on the other hand, voices his disdain. He wants Amira to marry someone from her own culture, background and religion. In short, he wants her to marry someone just like him.

And since he can’t seem to find one redeeming quality in Ezra, he’s going to do everything in his power to make sure the wedding doesn’t happen.

Positive Elements

Ezra and Amira share a deep mutual love and respect. And while they don’t always understand each other, they do always listen to each other and try to do better.

It takes their parents a bit longer to learn how to listen. But when they do, we see great strides. Shelley, who genuinely wanted to get to know Amira, inadvertently treated her like an object to be shown and studied. She apologizes for her actions and learns to stop trying so hard to be “cool.” Akbar, who was basically the opposite of Shelley, had no interest in getting to know Ezra. However, once he puts his racial bias aside, he realizes that Ezra truly loves his daughter and learns to respect him as a human being.

Spiritual Elements

As mentioned, Ezra’s family is Jewish, and Amira’s is Muslim. We hear details about both religions. Ezra attends a Yom Kippur service with his parents and is lectured for not wearing his yarmulke. He argues with his grandmother about not being able to be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

We learn that Akbar became Muslim and changed his name from “Woody” to “Akbar” after listening to Public Enemy’s song “Fight the Power” and becoming inspired by Malcolm X (who was also Muslim). He tells his children that he fell in love with their mother through their mutual love of God and prayer (though they suspect he’s exaggerating the truth). He wears a kufi (a Muslim head covering similar to the Jewish yarmulke) in one scene and prays to Allah.

Ezra makes it clear that he’s not a devout Jew. And Amira isn’t a devout Muslim either. However, the couple and their families argue whether a Jewish rabbi or Muslim imam should officiate their wedding. [Spoiler warning] It’s eventually done by both, and the couple dances the hora (chair dance).

Someone says that a former president is like Jesus. And they state that both this man and Christ can be “whatever version of him you want him to be.” Ezra insinuates that his sister is a witch. Someone talks about Jesus’ race. Amira wears an ankh necklace.

Sexual Content

Several men (and one woman) go to a strip club for a bachelor party. We see scantily clad women dance for, and on, these characters. (Ezra awkwardly tries to stop an ongoing lap dance when he spots his father-in-law giving him a disapproving look.) These same characters also pretend to do obscene things with several blow-up dolls.

Ezra is propositioned by an older man and later learns the man is under investigation for sexual abuse. (Shelley says she is waiting for the facts to come out before she’ll believe the accusations.)

Akbar mistakes Mo, who is a woman, for a man (and two characters point out that Mo has breasts). Though it’s not discussed, Mo appears to be gay based on her participation in the bachelor party activities. Shelley states that her daughter is a lesbian.

Ezra and Amira are living together. They kiss several times throughout the film, and we see them cuddling in bed together. (Nothing explicit is shown.) Ezra has an awkward talk with Amira’s parents about sex and pregnancy.

Two people joke about a former president participating in homosexual acts. Ezra berates his dad for a homophobic-sounding comment. There are crude comments about male anatomy. Characters often wear form-fitting or revealing clothing. People dance provocatively at a party. Someone makes a crude comment about a sexual act. A woman comments on another woman’s anatomy. A man says he was arrested on a “peeping Tom” charge because he was trying to see if his ex (and the mother of his child) was having sex with other men. Someone wrongly claims that a vaccine will make people gay. There are some jokes about infidelity.

Violent Content

Ezra and Amira’s families get into an argument about slavery and the Holocaust, comparing which was worse. (There is also some discussion about how Jews were enslaved by the Egyptians and a famous figure who blamed Jews for Black slavery.) Ezra’s parents note the dwindling number of Jewish people in the world more than once. Akbar comments about police brutality. Shelley says she believes that police have always been brutal toward Black people. Someone wears a shirt that alleges a prominent member of the Black Panther Party was murdered.

Akbar purposely takes Ezra to a barbershop frequented by members of a gang, and Ezra is harassed for unwittingly wearing an opposing gang’s colors. It’s insinuated that Ezra could get raped during this exchange. (In an unrelated conversation, someone talks about “gangbanging.”)

A man claims he had killed someone before. A man’s head covering is accidentally set on fire (though he’s unharmed). Ezra first meets Amira when he mistakes her for an Uber and enters her car, so Amira—thinking Ezra is an attacker—starts hitting him. Shelley accidentally rips a woman’s wig (which was secured with glue) off her head. Akbar tells his son that someone will “bust” his teeth out someday.

Crude or Profane Language

There are 35 uses of the f-word (sometimes paired with “mother” and written out on a pair of socks), not including the uses we hear in song lyrics throughout the film. And we hear 60 uses of the s-word, again, not including the uses we hear in songs.

God’s name is abused 30 times (five of which are paired with “d–n” or “d–mit”). Christ’s name is abused three times.

We also hear frequent uses of the n-word, “a–,” “a–hole,” “b–ch,” “d–n,” “d–k,” “h—,” “p—y” and “t-tties.” (These words also show up in songs.)

Shelley embarrasses herself while playing the game “Hangman” by asking if the clue is “an n-word.” She says she meant “Navajos,” but nobody is convinced.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Ezra’s friends drink and use a variety of drugs (especially cocaine) at his bachelor party. Ezra doesn’t participate since Akbar is keeping a close eye on him, but his friends paint a vivid picture of their last trip to Vegas, wherein Ezra passed out and defecated on himself. Ezra claims this was from food poisoning, not drugs, but he’s found out when his cocaine dealer arrives and tosses a giant bag of the substance in Ezra’s lap. (It’s later learned that Akbar used drugs when he was young.)

Two people joke about a former president smoking and using drugs. We hear a waitress is upset when someone interrupts her smoke break.

People drink alcohol at meals and celebrations throughout the film.

Other Negative Elements

There’s lots of commentary offered about racial differences and racial bias in this film, some serious and some humorous. Characters also point out instances of racism throughout history. Some viewers may be particularly sensitive to this, especially as it pertains to violence (see Violent Content) and politics. Several characters (including Ezra and Amira) make racially insensitive remarks, resulting in awkward tensions.

Characters joke about how the “Ice Bucket Challenge” made billions for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (or ALS, a serious neurodegenerative disease). Shelley makes it clear that she hates her son’s tattoos. Ezra makes a crude comment about flushing his ashes when he’s dead. People lie. Akbar tries to publicly humiliate Ezra on several occasions. A man explains how he tried to get his child support payments lowered. There are some jokes about vaccines. There’s some negative discourse about gentrification. A man says his ancestor was a bookie.


You People plays off as a rom-com reminiscent of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? But adjusted for modern times (both in messaging and in content), it quickly takes a serious, often more problematic, turn.

We hear upwards of 35 uses of the f-word, along with frequent uses of other profanities. Several characters abuse drugs and alcohol at Ezra’s bachelor party (which takes place in a strip club). And the film’s references to racial discrimination and bias can feel both shrill and antagonistic.

But that isn’t to say that the film doesn’t have any positive messages. That in-your-face racial bias can actually teach a lot. Through Shelley’s obnoxiously tone-deaf attitude, we learn that reading about someone’s experience isn’t the same as living it. And weirdly, trying to be “woke” is not only cringey but also inappropriate and rude. It comes off as ingenuine because it is. And what people really want is to be seen for who they are, not what they are.

Through Akbar’s intolerance of Ezra, we see things from the other side. His attitude suggests that he has some racial bias himself. He negatively comments about his wife’s grandfather (who was white) and believes that the man hated him. But Akbar learns something shocking: even though Ezra will never fully understand what it means to be Black (because he isn’t), that doesn’t mean Ezra won’t be able to truly love a Black woman.

And the message of the film winds up being this: You don’t need to completely understand every little detail about someone’s situation, circumstances, upbringing, background, history, etc. to love them completely. You just need to see them for who they are. And in spite of the movie’s ubiquitous R-rated content, that’s not a bad lesson.

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Emily Tsiao

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and geeking out with her husband indulging in their “nerdoms,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything they love, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate and Lord of the Rings.