Southside With You


Richard Tanne's enjoyable, and talky, film recreation of the first "date" between Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) -- Southside With Your -- is a loving tribute to the first couple and an endorsement if not of the president's politics then certainly of the spirit of rational engagement and empowerment that, one could argue, has defined his terms in office. Though Michelle insists their outing to a Southside Chicago community meeting is off-the-clock, professional time between law firm colleagues and not a "date," Barack is persistent and winning, one might even say calculated, in his wooing, booking for them much more than the meeting. The two spend most of the film's 84 minutes talking about themselves, yes, but they're actually telling each other (and those of us eavesdropping) what has made them who they are (and, for those of us eavesdropping, what they will become). Michelle is guarded; Barack is hopeful. But, in the end, they appear compatible in their differences.

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