13 January 2017

SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU: THE STORY OF A PRESIDENTIAL ROMANCE REVIEWED BY SANDRA HARRIS.



SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU. (2016) EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY JOHN LEGEND. WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY RICHARD TANNE. PRODUCED BY RICHARD TANNE, TIKA SUMPTER AND ROBERT TEITEL. MUSIC BY STEPHEN JAMES TAYLOR.
STARRING TIKA SUMPTER AND PARKER SAWYERS.
REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©

Aw, this film is sweeter than a cake made of pie, as they say in THE SIMPSONS. It's a romantic comedy drama about, of all people, the outgoing First Couple of the United States, Barack and Michelle Obama, as they headed out on their first ever date on the southside of Chicago all those years ago.

They were just the sweetest couple back then. Still are, as far as I know. I don't know much about American politics but I do know that I'll miss the Obamas when they vacate the Whitehouse for you-know-who in a few days time. I always liked them and they always seemed like pretty decent and hard-working people to me. Good role-models for us ordinary Joes, haha.

They also have the cutest and most inspiring back story. You can manage to pick up a good bit of it from this biographical film, which packs a fair bit of useful info into the eighty-two minutes as well as more romance than you can shake a stick at. The action in the film all takes place over the course of one day in the Obamas' lives, back when they were just starting out, God bless 'em.

The tall, laid-back and drop-dead handsome Barack Obama, played by his doppelganger Parker Sawyers, has been trying to get his attractive co-worker Michelle Robinson to spend time with him outside the office for a while now. Today's the day, although Michelle is adamant that it's not a date.
You keep telling yourself that, missus...!

As a black woman trying to get ahead in the workplace, and in the cut-throat world of law in particular, she's not about to give anyone a reason to accuse her of slacking off or being unprofessional by dating a co-worker, in this case her gorgeous young summer associate in the firm, Barack Obama, whose advisor she is.

Barack has a more easy-going attitude to the whole thing than Michelle does. Using the genuine charm and sexy grin for which he's now well known, he manages to persuade Michelle to spend this one beautiful sunny day with him on the southside of Chicago, chauffeuring her around in the old banger that was famously missing a part of its floor. A fact that Michelle later made good use of when she was trying to persuade the American public to vote her handsome hubby into office...! It was a story that made him seem like a guy people could really relate to, see?

It's clear from the start that they're going to be good for each other. Michelle is hard-working, responsible and almost terrifyingly focused on her career and making something of herself, coming as she does from a family that values education above all else. The good-humoured Barack can help her to lighten up a little when she needs it.

Barack, on the other hand, could maybe use a woman like Michelle to keep him on the straight and narrow. A bit of a dreamer who cut classes and smoked marijuana while in school, he obviously has a brilliant mind and some intelligent ideas for improving the lives of the people in his old neighbourhood who didn't manage to escape to Harvard like he did, but he needs a strong woman beside him to help keep him focused.

Michelle is undoubtedly the woman for that particular mission. If she chooses to accept it, that is, and several times throughout the course of this charming little film it looks like she's going to tell Barack to shove his chocolate Baskin-Robbins where the sun don't shine. But the man who went on to rule the biggest country in the world for a whopping eight years doesn't give up easily...

I love the art exhibition they go to together. The pictures of artist Ernie Barnes featured in the film are stunning and breath-taking. I wouldn't mind having one or two gracing my own tired walls at home. Ernest Eugene Barnes, Jr. was an African-American painter, well known for his unique style of elongation and movement. He was also a professional football player, actor and author. I'm definitely going to try to find out where I can see some more of his stuff. His paintings blaze with life and the most vivid colours you'll ever see.

The speech Barack gives to his old mates regarding the community centre they feel they're currently being denied by local politicians is off-the-cuff and brilliantly worded. It also shows a real insight on his part into the problems his old friends face in their daily lives.Just the job for melting any remaining ice around Michelle's heart, haha. He knows what he's doing all right, this Barry Obama fella...!

Spike Lee's famous film DO THE RIGHT THING features in the movie too, as the pair attend a screening that leads to an awkward (awkward for Michelle, anyway, Barack is as cool as the proverbial cucumber as he smoothly handles the situation over a freaked-out Michelle's head!) accidental encounter with some of the white bosses at their law firm.

There's a great sort of slidey-guitar thing going on in the background of the film as well which I loved. It gave the sunlit movie a really shimmery, ethereal and otherworldly kind of feel at times.

The Obamas were made to be together. Theirs is the most romantic love story since bacon and eggs and it'll be yours to buy on DVD, complete with extra features and courtesy of SODA PICTURES: A THUNDERBIRD COMPANY, from January 23rd, 2016. There'll be a new family in the Whitehouse by then. Let's hope that they're as inspirational and hardworking as the Obamas.


AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.

Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO

 You can contact Sandra at:


http://sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris.wordpress.com





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