Southside With You, B
Rated PG-13, 84 minutes
The new romantic dramedy "Southside WIth You" Inspired by President Barack and Michelle Obama's first date. Talky but charming and intimate, this fluffy non-political film provides a glimpse at how our current President and First Lady's was shaped. The movie tells the story of that eventful summer day in 1989 when a young law firm associate named Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) tried to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) during a daylong date that took them from the Art Institute of Chicago to a screening of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing to the site of their first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor. Directed, written and co-produced by Richard Tanne in his feature film debut, "Southside With You" is a pleasant, enjoyable piece of fluff that is grounded well by the appealing leads, handsome newcomer Sawyers and "Bessie's" lovely Sumpter. It doesn't provide much new insight into the Obama's, and the dialogue occasionally feels very speechy as they stroll through their first extended date, but there are some nice moments too: such as viewing and discussing the paintings of Ernie Barnes, who painted those familiar portraits for the TV show "Good Times," to going to a community meeting with some nosy ladies, to finally sharing a kiss outside of an ice cream parlor. You do get a sense of where this smart, future power couple was going, and it would be right to the top of the political spectrum as they ascended to the U.S. Presidency, something that's alluded to throughout the movie. "Southside With You" isn't a heavy hitter, and don't expect too much from it, but it's a nice, enjoyable look at a first date that would have far reaching implications.