Le Bazhaar

First Date*

Michelle (Tika Sumpter) and Barack (Parker Sawyers) Image courtesy of Miramax/Roadside Attractions
Michelle (Tika Sumpter) and Barack (Parker Sawyers)
Image courtesy of Miramax/Roadside Attractions

During Summer 1989 in Chicago, Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama had their first date. Actually it’s not a date, at least at the beginning, as Michelle’s character likes to say it in the movie. This could be the ordinary start of a love story except that these two without knowing it will make history by becoming the first black American presidential couple. But the movie focuses on the obvious interest of intern’s Barack in the smart junior lawyer Michelle and how he progressively wins her heart. Even if the awakening of their complicity and love is the main focus here, we can already sense the political potential and charisma of Obama and chemistry with Michelle. Tika Sumpter as Michelle Robinson gives a really good interpretation, not an easy thing knowing that they look nothing alike except maybe their stature, however the thumbs up goes to Parker Sawyers perfect in charming messy young Obama with a promising bright future. Overall the movie is a pleasant, romantic stroll through the black middle class neighborhoods of Chicago, tinted of nostalgia of a bygone era.

The little plus: the 80’s soundtrack, especially Janet Jackson’s hit “Miss you much” and Soul II Soul “Keep on Movin’”.

*Southside with You is the original title.