- If the title seems slightly offensive, that’s because it’s meant to be. It refers to a game specifically designed to highlight the worst race and gender stereotypes, promising fun (and fistfights) for the whole family.
- Felix Steiner (Will Edwards) is a downsized gamer - the board kind - that hits upon a uniquely negative way to score big sales. He, along with pals Jerry (John P. Baniqued) and Patty (Shae Wilhite), all three kicked to the curb by employer Molton and Benter, create You People, a game whose playing pieces include a sombrero and a Klansman head. You get the picture.
- Jerry’s an old hippie who claims he was at Woodstock, but no one ever believes him. He insists on curling his fingers into quote marks whenever he mentions "the Net” despite being told how annoying that is.
- Patty wears Christmas sweaters year round; her claim to fame is having created a lame banana-on-monkey-head game called Tango Box. She harbors dreams of a sequel, a scheme considered implausible to everyone but her.
- Felix strikes a deal with two former associates, Harvey (Henry Clarke) and T.J. (John Paul Angeles Franco) now successful gamer geeks/ bloggers who help get the word out about his new product. Interest in You People soars.
- Other instrumental people in Felix’s life include Jenny (Holly Feland) a perpetually and sometimes irritatingly happy waitress who becomes Felix’s love interest, Danny (James Germano) a former M&B company goon now homeless and working for $5 an hour, and downsized M&B salesperson Nancy (Elly Brown Rathonyi). Each becomes instrumental to Felix as he embarks on his new business endeavor.
- After an initial surge in sales, Felix, Jerry and Patty try unsuccessfully to get their product carried by retail giant Wo-Max ("they won’t even sell a CD with the word DAMN in it!”). Meanwhile, as the game invades households, reports of violence around the country erupt and death threats start arriving for the entrepreneurial trio, sending Jerry and Patty off to Mexico. Arrows and grenades fly through windows as Felix stays behind to weather the storm of both controversy and violence.
- Lapsing into a depression, Felix remembers his dying father’s warning about a curse on the Steiner men, something Felix always doubted would touch him. After all, he’s adopted and African American, raised by a Jewish family but not of their bloodline. That makes a difference…or does it?
- Felix has an epiphany that helps guide him in his quest to help him turn his life around hoping to reverse the negative karma brought on by You People.
- Will Edwards possesses an understated comedic talent that arrests the screen with a natural ability to hold viewer attention. Daniel P. Baniqued and Shae Wilhite bring quirks to their characters that bounce off of Edwards’ straight man effectively.
- James Germano is dynamic enough to steal a scene or two and get away with it. Holly Feland and Elly Brown Rathonyi could easily replace young actresses in Hollywood feature productions, most likely improving the outcome.
- Henry Clarke and John Paul Angeles Franco have small roles but use the brief time onscreen to invade their characters’ wiseass personas like the space warriors in one of their video games.
- The cast is uniformly good, with Edwards as the lead, the anchor and the standout of the production. How many black men do you know that can pull off Jewish guilt believably? Edwards makes it look easy.
- Producer/director/editor Kelly Schwarze (The Indie Pendant) shows that he knows a thing or two about casting, editing, dialogue, and plot development. Production value is high, without the telltale audio echo that plagues indie productions (well, maybe one scene, but that’s it).
- You People is either offensively enjoyable or enjoyably offensive. You’ll be insulted right into laughter, or at least a smirk or two; if it’s at someone else’s expense, so much the better. I blame it all on You People.