Director Kenya Barris on the Comedy, the Romance, and the Message of ‘You People’

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On paper, the delirious and discomforting new rom-com You People is about a Jewish guy and a Black woman who fall in love despite their families’ prejudices. But it arrives at an eerily perfect moment. Directed by Kenya Barris and starring Jonah Hill and Lauren London, the comedy hits Netflix just months after several high-profile, highly charged exchanges between those two communities dominated the cable news cycle — most notably inflammatory statements from Kanye West and Kyrie Irving that picked at generations-old scabs that have yet to fully heal. 

Following what happens when unlucky-in-love podcaster Ezra Cohen (Hill) meets Amira Mohammed (London), Barris’ film unspools like a 21st-century Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner with a kosher soul-food kick, and a balm for our divisive moment. “The timing is really interesting,” Barris tells Tudum. “Definitely the conversation we’re having in society now happens to be something that we started three years ago. Ultimately, at the core of it, [You People] is a love letter to love, and I think that’s what the conversation really needs now — asking humanity to love a little more.”

Click here to read more on Netflix Tudum.