Southside With You

Southside With You

Southside With You

Mellow Sundance romance feature based on the first date between President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, set in 1989 Chicago.

"One Chicago afternoon in 1989, a Harvard Law summer associate named Barack Obama finagled a tête-à-tête with an attorney from the prestigious corporate law firm where they both worked. Her name was Michelle Robinson, and his pretense was a friendly outing to a community organizer meeting. In Michelle’s eyes, it was most certainly not a date. But as ice cream gives way to a stop at the Art Institute, and the community gathering conveniently becomes a chance for Barack to lecture brilliantly on activism, it’s stunningly obvious to Michelle that this cigarette-smoking smooth talker is desperately trying to woo her.

"As their epic encounter continues into evening and these fiercely bright minds go head-to-head, sparks fly. Southside With You takes plenty of poetic license to craft this charming, playful story out of true-life events, yet actors Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers embody the essence of two people matched in power, idealism, and intellect." (Sundance Film Festival)

2016Rating: M, Coarse language84 minsUSA
DramaTrue Story & BiographyRomance
Director:
Richard Tanne (feature debut)
Writer:
Richard Tanne
Cast:
Tika SumpterParker Sawyers
87%
want to see

Streaming (3 Providers)

Reviews & comments

A warm, intelligent, well ­told story about two people who became a global power-couple in celebrity politics.

It takes a brave director to make a romantic bio-pic featuring a current US President and First Lady. Unless you come from another planet it is impossible to view Southside with You (2016) outside the realm of contemporary politics. Although the summer of 1989 is a long way from the events of 2016, the story of Barack and Michelle’s first time out together...

4.0
Variety

Variety

press

Richard Tanne's writing-directing debut deepens into a pointed, flowing conversation about the many challenges (and varieties) of African-American identity...

Total Film

Total Film

press

First-time filmmaker Richard Tanne conjures an effective sense of time and place -- Chicago, 1989 -- and the leads are a real find, radiating authority, charm and chemistry.

4.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

A small, successful sketch of now-great lives.

4.0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A gently likable, Linklaterish movie that ideologically conflates romantic excitement with progressive idealism, bringing in some unexpected subtleties.

3.0
Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

Stumbles occasionally, but still manages to cast a hushed spell that never entirely fades.

3.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The result makes you realize how few realistic and three-dimensional date movies have been made in an era of throbbing hook-up encounters and R-rated horny teen gross-outs.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Even if you didn't know what comes next, this story of the first days of the Obamas would still seduce as a sweet, smart romance.

4.0
Variety

Variety

press

Richard Tanne's writing-directing debut deepens into a pointed, flowing conversation about the many challenges (and varieties) of African-American identity...

Total Film

Total Film

press

First-time filmmaker Richard Tanne conjures an effective sense of time and place -- Chicago, 1989 -- and the leads are a real find, radiating authority, charm and chemistry.

4.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

A small, successful sketch of now-great lives.

4.0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

A gently likable, Linklaterish movie that ideologically conflates romantic excitement with progressive idealism, bringing in some unexpected subtleties.

3.0
Little White Lies

Little White Lies

press

Stumbles occasionally, but still manages to cast a hushed spell that never entirely fades.

3.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The result makes you realize how few realistic and three-dimensional date movies have been made in an era of throbbing hook-up encounters and R-rated horny teen gross-outs.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Even if you didn't know what comes next, this story of the first days of the Obamas would still seduce as a sweet, smart romance.

4.0

A warm, intelligent, well ­told story about two people who became a global power-couple in celebrity politics.

It takes a brave director to make a romantic bio-pic featuring a current US President and First Lady. Unless you come from another planet it is impossible to view Southside with You (2016) outside the realm of contemporary politics. Although the summer of 1989 is a long way from the events of 2016, the story of Barack and Michelle’s first time out...

4.0