Long before he was a creative force to be reckoned with, filmmaker Kenya Barris was raised in South Los Angeles — home to enclaves like Inglewood, Baldwin Hills and Compton, which have been immortalized in such TV shows as Insecure, Moesha and his own smash hit black-ish. Meanwhile, years before he would even dream of earning two Oscar nominations as an actor, Jonah Hill spent his earliest years in the sprawling melting pot of West Los Angeles. Barris and Hill’s upbringings and cultural experiences couldn’t have been more different. They were literally and figuratively divided by the Interstate 10, the freeway that cleaves the city.
Still, the one thing they share like an ineffable bond is the pride they both take in their beloved city. And now, with their new cross-cultural romantic comedy You People (which is directed by Barris, stars Hill and which they co-wrote), the two Angelenos have taken all the things that they love most about their hometown — the sights, the sounds, the smells — and put them up on the screen. “At the core of it,” Barris tells Tudum, “this was a love letter to LA.”
You People is full of unforgettable characters, with Hill as Ezra, Lauren London as Amira (London, by the way, is an LA native too), and co-starring Eddie Murphy as Amira’s militant father Akbar and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Ezra’s too-woke mother Shelley. But as the story follows the young couple’s romantic journey, it also takes viewers on a journey that introduces another major character: the City of Angels.
Click here to see nine locations from the film that are quintessentially LA and that, thanks to Barris and Hill, finally get their close-ups.