This week on “Justin Hall At The Movies,” I’ll be reviewing President Obama’s first date with Michelle in “Southside With You.”
“Southside With You” chronicles the very first date between future president Barack Obama and Michelle Robertson and the result is a surprisingly poignant and insightful look into the minds and hearts of our current leaders of the free world.
It stars Parker Sawyers as Obama and Tika Sumpter as Michelle. The story takes place in 1989 when Obama was working as a young associate and Michelle was his advisor. When they first meet, there’s some conflicting perspectives because Obama believes it to be a date while Michelle is counterintuitive and says it’s not.
The events of their first date are as follows: They have lunch in a park, they visit an art exhibit focusing on African-American culture, they attend a community meeting at a dilapidated church and finally attend a screening of Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing.”
I basically described the plot in a nutshell.
While we more or less know how things turn out between these two, we do get some incredibly well-articulated dialogue exchanges such as their points of view of family life and their specific beliefs in God. There’s a real ebb and flow to the dialogue and the performances help enhance it due to it sounding authentic and engrossing.
At only 84 minutes, “Southside With You” manages to achieve much more in that amount of running time than most romantic comedies do with two hours.
It relies solely on the strength and chemistry between its two leads and they both turn in likable, charming performances.
Regardless of your own personal opinion on the Obamas, this is truly a pleasant surprise for 2016.
Rated PG-13 brief strong language, smoking, a violent image and a drug reference.
Hall is a South Georgia movie critic.