I’m here for more biopics moving in the direction of ‘A Day in the Life’ over trying to capture a person’s whole story in 120 minutes. ‘Southside With You’ is the better of the two features that came out about President Obama last year.
Already a big part of their mythology, the movie dramatizes the first date of Barack and Michelle, when they went to go see ‘Do the Right Thing’. Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter both do great giving us the essence of these two people, years before they were even plotting to end up where life took them.
As I said up top, I love the day in the life approach, but the pitfall in going that route in biopics is stretching reality for the sake of dramatization. First date, are you getting more information about this person you already have some level of interest in? Definitely. Are you getting their entire back stories on the first date? Even in a movie, not very likely. Michelle grills Barack about his dating past, he says he’s been in serious relationships with white women, but has grown weary of always feeling like the outsider. That’s great character detail and feels very organic in a real and a movie first date. Barack deep diving into his rocky relationship with his father? Felt a little more forced.
As a whole though, solid date movie, and at less than 90 minutes, it moves quickly. Streaming on Netflix, worth checking out if you didn’t catch it in the theatre.