SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU | Reviewed
The year is 1989:
George H. W. Bush takes office as the 41st President.
Rain Man won Best Picture at the 61st Academy Awards.
Students began protesting in Tiananmen Square.
Disney-MGM Studios opens to the public.
Nintendo releases the Game Boy.
First commercial dial-up Internet connection in North America is made.
Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing is released.
Janet Jackson’s Miss You Much from Rhythm Nation 1814 album drops.
A summer associate asks his advisor to go on a date.
SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU written and directed by Richard Tanne. The movie starts Parker Sawyers as Barack Obama and Tika Sumpter as Michelle Robinson. The movie is set on the southside of Chicago. The movie deals with a chain smoking smooth talking Barack Obama trying to woo an uninterested Michelle Robinson.
The movies follows the pair as they spend the day together on their first date.
The movie is inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date, SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU recounts their eventful summer day in 1989. The movies opens with both preparing for their not so date date. Barack is talking his mom phone telling her that Michelle is his advisor at the firm he’s working at for the Summer. Barack calms his Mother’s concerns about him dating white women by letting her know that Michelle is from Chicago – “the side that’s predominantly black” – and confirms, “Yes, her skin is of the darker persuasion. Michelle on the other hand is downplaying the day she’ll be spending with Barack. She tells her parents “He’s the summer associate I told y’all about, the one from Harvard Law. I mentioned I worked legal aid, and he invited me to a community event … It doesn’t get more romantic than broken plumbing and under-funded schools.”
This 1989 date would be the beginning of the love story that would the Obama’s life story together. Mrs Obama later reflected later on her husband and their date saying “So we had lunch, and he had this bad sport jacket and a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and I thought: ‘Oh, here you go. Here’s this good-looking, smooth-talking guy. I’ve been down this road before.” Michelle even tried fixing Barack up with one of her girlfriends before agreeing to go on this date with him.
In the movie we see Barack pulling out all the stops for this date. He takes Michelle to the Art Institute of Chicago, a community meeting, to a screening of Spike Lee’s DO THE RIGHT THING. You’ll see a fearful Michelle worried that the hard work she’s put in won’t be taken seriously by dating the charming Barack. Lastly we see them take their first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor.
This is a perfect date movie. I left theater thinking how I’m ready for love. My heart skipped a beat watching the characters battle each other over Barack’s wish to have Michelle’s attention. Those who love the Obamas’ will be over the moon seeing the beginning of their love story. However I think anyone will find this movie a pleasure to watch. I put this movie’s love story on par with movies like The Notebook. I encourage the support of this movie.
You can go to the Baskin-Robbins in Chicago at the intersection of Dorchester and East 53rd Street, where a plaque now commemorates the historic moment.
“On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb,” the plaque quotes President Obama as saying in an excerpt from a 2007 interview with Oprah’s O Magazine. “I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate.”
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