Southside With You takes rom-com in new direction
Film: Sundance Film Festival
Movie about Barack and Michelle Obama's first date takes the frame off the official portrait to paint a tender picture of two people falling in love
By Katherine Monk
PARK CITY, UT — There’s a good chance this year’s Sundance Film Festival will be defined by a larger, and perhaps more honest, discussion about race in America. And if it is, we can look at Richard Tanne’s debut feature Southside With You as a beautiful example of a paradigm shift. It’s not just an accessible romance starring two rising African-American stars in Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers, it’s a fictionalized take on the first date between would-be First Lady Michelle Robinson and a young Harvard law student named Barack Obama. We knew the two met at a corporate law firm. We knew she was his advisor. And we knew she wasn’t eager to get involved with a junior, fearing it would erode her professional edge and play into white expectation. The rest became the ...