Wednesday, August 31, 2016
SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU
But it is also an engaging and surprisingly moving love story. The most radical thing about it is its rhythm of normalcy set against the backdrop of the ongoing struggle of African-Americans to achieve equality and justice (the date includes the couple's going to see DO THE RIGHT THING, and focuses on the now even more resonant scene of a young black man being choked to death by a New York City cop).
Parker Sawyer as Barak captures his speech patterns and physicality perfectly, and even looks like a slightly darker version of him. Tika Sumpter as Michelle isn't quite as perfect a match, but the actress gives her version of the proto-first-lady an emotional complexity that I found convincing and compelling.
It's a surprise to find out that this film was written and directed by a fairly young and not African-American Jersey boy, Richard Tanne. Some scenes and dialogue might be seen by some as not authentically "black" enough, but I noticed it wasn't just the few "white" folks in the audience I saw it with who were wiping away tears at the end.