Southside With You24 Sep 2016
Southside With You has some of the same DNA as the Linklater Before Sunrise series. It borrows from some of Spike Lee’s work, even including Do The Right Thing prominently in the plot. But unlike those film-makers, Richard Tanne lacks a personal style. But that doesn’t drag the movie down too far. The main focus on two fascinating characters, two fascinating public figures of our time, is enough to keep this film buoyant and entertaining throughout.
In getting to know the Obama’s as a national, highly politicized couple, we’ve lost sight of the fact that they’re America’s premiere example of a successful black couple. Both of their futures, as young people, are beautifully on display here. And to a large extent, they’ve delivered on their talents and promise. (Part of me has always wondered what Michelle Obama’s ceiling would’ve been if she hadn’t spent more than a decade working to only further Barack’s career.)
We have so many examples of young black people, with promise, failing to realize it. Because our country places more ditches in their way than bridges. It’s great to reflect on what it looks like when they do achieve it. And for Obama-die-hards, there are plenty of small details in the film to chew over.