Movie Review: Southside With You

This movie is highly unusual because it is entirely dialogue consisting of two people, Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson on their first date. I cannot remember any movie that was entirely about a long conversation between two people with the exception of Before Sunrise or Before Sunset that starred Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy. The challenge with a movie like this is to make the dialogue compelling enough so that it is not so boring that you don’t care that the entire movie is about a conversation. For the most part, the screenwriter of this movie, Richard Tanne about the first date of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, did a good enough job with the writing to pull this movie off. For the most part, this film held my attention throughout the entire 90+ minutes.

The actors in this movie, Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers also did a very good job in their challenging roles of nothing but dialog and I appreciated the numerous moments of “show not tell” where just by her eyes, Michelle showed her enormous displeasure of Obama’s constant chain smoking and this also included the moment when she told Obama to “forgive his father” for abandoning his family so he can go on and achieve more than what is father could have. From Obama’s eyes, you could tell this was the moment where he fell in love with Michelle.

One issue that most amazing about this story is how Barack Obama is still alive at age 55 considering the extreme smoking he has done throughout his early years. How someone as intelligent and successful as Obama could have smoked this much is a mystery and also a miracle that he didn’t​ get any of the many diseases that smoking causes.

This is a solid movie and I do recommend it.