Southside with You

4 Stars

The marriage of Barack and Michelle Obama is among the most aspirational in modern life, so it’s little surprise that they’d find themselves the focus of a film. What is surprising is how their relationship is approached in the first film to feature them as characters. Southside with You focuses on the first date between Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter), and uses the date to show two intelligent, emboldened people getting to know each other. By narrowing its focus to one (lengthy) date, the film gets to examine their dynamics in a way that doesn’t feel forced. It helps that both Sumpter and Sawyers manage to capture the Obamas without feeling like impersonations. It’s a strong effort from writer/director Richard Tanne.

Southside with You • Rating: PG-13 (for brief strong language, smoking, a violent image and a drug reference) • Runtime: 84 minutes • Genre: Drama • Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway • Director: Richard Tanne • Writer: Richard Tanne • Distributor: Miramax/Roadside Attractions

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