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Southside With You

This movie recreates what the first “date” with Michelle and Barack Obama might have been like. Tika Sumpter plays Michelle, and Parker Sawyers Barack, both of whom have been featured in other films. I thought Sawyers was the more convincing of the two – he seemed to at least partially capture Barack’s unique speech and mannerisms. Going into it, I did not know, and was let down, by the fact that the entire film is about their first date – and nothing else. The film does capture some of the issues facing Chicago and the context around the Obama’s meeting, but with minimal depth and complexity. The result for me was a film that is rather shallow but might be of interest to anyone who is interested in how the Obamas “might” have met (I did a bit of reading and discovered, not surprisingly, that most of the film was left to the creative license of the director and may or may not be based entirely in fact. I left the movie not exactly understanding its point. For these reasons, I give this one a thumbs-down.

About Gary Burkholder

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