I was fortunate to see Southside with You last week. It is well known among my friends I am HUGE Obamas fan, it could have been crap and I would have been overjoyed just to see their love unfold on screen. How pleasantly was I surprised by the humanity and intelligence that came through in this very deceptively simple film by the talented writer/director Richard Tanne.
The film all takes place in 24hrs. during the time they are getting dressed for the date and when they arrive home. The magic of the film is, this could have been any couple. Initially your hyped on the fact , your seeing the Obamas but 30m into the film you are watching a typically awkward date and all the geekiness that entails. The actors are wonderful, its great to see Tikka Sumpter in a this role, she does remind you of Michelle but its not the physical that is as compelling as the clear intelligence that she is communicating. Combined with the fear and the growing attraction that happens over this several hours of this epic date. Newcomer Parker Sawyer does a lovely job of inhabiting Pres.Obama but making him very human. It is the humanity of the two that removes it from a typical bio-pic to a lovely telling of budding love.
The only problem I have with the film i, I already admire President Obama so deeply and this just adds to my mania. I came away really respecting him as a man, in the beginning of the film he comes over as your intelligent but cocky, young lawyer who is clearly going places. It is the stripping away of the facade and the revealing of hurt, slightly angry and sometimes arrogant man that makes you appreciate him even more. Michelle comes away as one of the fully realized female protagonist I have seen in a long time. Her ambition is so explicit with the combination of her youth and arrogance that makes you realize ( whether its true or ficition) that he had to work to get her. She personified what it means to know your worth.
The ending kiss is sensual but unlike many films that feature a love scene, its well earned. Its not your typical " run through the park montage" romantic film, even though you know how it ends there are still times during the screening I was worried for them. There were two individuals who both seemed exceptional and trying to make that exception compatible.
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An Actor/Director sharing her thoughts on creativity in this crazy metropolis, New Yawk Citay.