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Southside with You

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language, smoking, a violent image and a drug reference.
not reviewed
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Biography Romance Drama
Length:
1 hr. 21 min.
Year of Release:
2016
USA Release:
January 24, 2016 (festival)
August 26, 2016 (wide—806 theaters)
DVD: December 13, 2016
Copyright, Miramax click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Miramax Copyright, Miramax Copyright, Miramax Copyright, Miramax Copyright, Miramax Copyright, Miramax Copyright, Miramax Copyright, Miramax
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Copyright, Miramax
Featuring: Tika Sumpter … Michelle Robinson
Vanessa Bell Calloway … Marian Robinson
Parker Sawyers … Barack Obama
Phillip Edward Van Lear … Fraser C. Robinson III
Donald Paul … Bow Tie
Deborah Geffner … Toot
Alex Zelenka … Museum goer
Preston Tate Jr. … Kyle
Jerod Haynes … Tommy
Tom McElroy … Avery Goodman
Fred Nance Jr. … Nance Residence (Fred Nance)
Jeremy Michael Pereira … Bar Patron
Deanna Reed-Foster … Bernadette (Deanna Reed Foster)
Angel Knight … Baskin Robbins Girl
Gabrielle Lott-Rogers … Rafiqa
Donn C. Harper … Curtis
Taylar Fondren … Janice (TayLar)
Tony E. Brown … Community Church Meeting Attendee
Director: Richard Tanne
Producer: Get Lifted Film Company
IM Global
Rovio Entertainment
Distributor: Miramax

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “This romantic drama chronicles the summer 1989 afternoon when the future President of the United States of America, BARACK OBAMA, wooed his future First Lady (Michelle Obama) on an epic first date across Chicago’s South Side.

Barack is a young associate lawyer. On their first date, the pair see Spike Lee's ‘Do the Right Thing.’ Their date also includes a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and the couple's first kiss outside of an ice cream parlor.”

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Movie Critics

…A charming microbiopic that will make you miss the Obamas before they’re even gone. …
—Dana Stevens, Slant

…This tender, intimate drama has the grand resonance of a historical epic. …
—Richard Brody,·The New Yorker

…a syrupy soap opera readily recommended for ardent Obama admirers…
—Kam Williams, The Skanner

…an awkward mix of low-key romantic drama and historical foreshadowing, with dialogue that sometimes sounds like the characters reciting their own Wikipedia entries. …If not for the extratextual awareness of who these people are going to become, Southside would mostly be a bore, and even so, it’s about as romantic as a civics lesson. …
—Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly

…will appeal most to those who already miss America’s current president. …a gentle, rose-tinted piece of political nostalgia…
—David Sims, The Atlantic

…a delightfully low-key portrait… tiptoes to the edge of hagiography but never falls in, at least entirely. …
—Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

…a fictionalized account of Barack and Michelle's first date, gets our endorsement… The timing couldn't be better… [4/5]
—Edward Douglas, New York Daily News

…frequently feels more suited to the stage than the screen…
—Barbara VanDenburgh, The Republic

…Sweet, slight and thuddingly sincere… a fictional re-creation of Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date. …the writer-director Richard Tanne mistakes faithfulness for truthfulness. He’s obviously interested in the Obamas, but he’s so cautious and worshipful that there’s nothing here to discover, only characters to admire. …
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

…as biography, “Southside With You” is lacking. But simply as a romance, the film works nicely. …
—Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

…fond fictionalization… building to a superb (fictionalized) scene in which Obama switches to oratory to impress Michelle. …If only Obama was like his “Southside With You” character…
—Kyle Smith, New York Post

…fictionalized reimagining… dialogue-heavy movie is really only engaging because it’s about the future President…
—Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

…hagiography… on-screen myth-making… idealizes Chicago law-school graduate Michelle Robinson’s first date with Barack Hussein Obama… This virtuous rendezvous is less a convincing love story and more a continuation of America’s mysterious romance with the Obamas. …glorifies political totems who all but walk on water.
—Armond White, National Review

…the movie’s story ironically, and unintentionally, seems to show why exactly Barack Obama hasn’t lived up to the potential that he seemed to express in 2004. Thus, for example, the movie’s plot actually shows that Obama is a deceitful, condescending guy with some big underlying emotional problems, including more than a little resentment against “The Man.” …
—Ted Baehr, Movieguide

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