Southside with You (2016)
Get Lifted Film Company
Directed by: Richard Tanne
Written by: Richard Tanne
Starring: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway
Probably the simplest highlight of this film was how it focused primarily on the chemistry of the couple, and not so much on their politics. You genuinely connect and even root for them to succeed (even though we know how their relationship ends up.) It was interesting to see how both characters were able to open up about their pasts, their parents, life goals and so much more. You really get a better sense of who they are as individuals compared to what we all may be exposed to via the media alone. Furthermore, we’re given a glimpse at the impact they both had within their families or the local communities. Tika Sumpter encapsulated Michelle Obama’s class, intellect, and modesty. Parker Sawyers absolutely nails his depiction of President Obama. His mannerisms, charm, wit, and especially his speech inflections clearly show that he some serious work in imitating the President. Besides the individual characters, the film does an interesting job of tackling certain societal issues without coming off as “preachy.” Barack’s account with his past relationships were pretty insightful and revealing even to a person of color like myself. Michelle’s accounts of how her social and work life colliding provide some excellent points of reflection about both race and gender in our society today.
I literally have nothing bad to say about this film.
I can’t say for certain, but I get the impression that a lot of the accounts in this film may have derived from President Obama’s book: Dreams of My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. This was a wonderful story of a first date between two love birds. I really appreciated the lack of political fodder being included because I think it would’ve just been too distracting. (We all know how divisive politics can be). I think this was a rock solid date movie, and would be perfect for a night out with a special someone. Go see it, if you get a chance.