The Humans

The Humans

It’s almost unfortunate how familiar The Humans will feel to many. A professional dealing with health issues causing lost opportunities at work. A young couple convincing themselves that a dank, overly priced apartment is a good idea. A long-time married couple constrained by time and obligation.

Stephen Karam, in his directorial debut, adapts his own stage play bringing each of these stories coloured with anxiety, heartbreak, and existential dread into one of the most honest depictions of day to day life in 2021.

The Humans gathers a family together in the creaky, dripping New York City apartment of Brigid Blake (Beanie Feldstein) and Richard (Steven Yeun) for Thanksgiving dinner. Brigid’s sister, Aimee, (Amy Schumer), parents (Richard Jenkins and Jayne Houdyshell), and grandmother (June Squibb) arrive from Pennsylvania and throughout the evening, harsh revelations are uncovered.

Bolstered by a wonderful script, the ensemble cast is impeccable. Schumer and Houdyshell are standouts with Schumer pared-down in a performance we haven’t yet seen from her. Houdyshell is the only crossover from the play to the film, and absolutely shines as Brigid and Aimee’s mother. Her subtle turn is devastating and in a simple moment, deciding what she wants for dessert, she breaks all of our hearts.

Read Rachel Ho's full review: thatshelf.com/tiff-2021-the-humans-review/