I saw the premiere of Southside With You at Sundance, and the trailer has just come out. This is a really sweet movie about one day — the first date of Barack (then Barry) Obama and Michelle Robinson. Michelle was Barack’s mentor advisor at this summer associate law firm, Sidley Austin, in Chicago. Barack had been trying to ask her out for a month, but she resists as she doesn’t feel it is appropriate as she is his mentor. He asks her to attend a community meeting, and throughout she says “This is not a date” until it becomes one.
I think both actors, Parker Sawyer as Barack and Tika Sumpter as Michelle, do a fantastic job of NOT doing an impression of these two. During the Q&A, Parker Sawyer told the story of sending in a horrible first audition tape, that was an impression of Commander in Chief Barack, and having to do it over again as a young man just trying to get the girl.
Barack has a horrible bucket of bolts car, complete with a rusted out hole in the floor. He chain smokes. He’s human.
It thought it was all very well done, but my only quibble is that if it was filmed all in Chicago, it didn’t always look it. There’s only one establishing shot on the lake shore. Most of the street scenes could have been Toronto, for all I could tell. This film, produced by John Legend, has an August 19 release date.