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‘Southside With You’ Explores the Beginnings of Barack and Michelle Obama’s Courtship

Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers

Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s marriage has been romanticized to mystical, other worldly status since they first stepped foot inside of the White House.  It’s not without reason—the president and the first lady are both educated, respected legal minds that got married, had children, and stuck it out through thick and thin.  They are great role models for all people to mimic.  Now, their much fabled courtship is getting the big-screen treatment.

Southside With You is the title of the romantic dramedy set during their first date.  The film stars relatively unknown Parker Sawyers as a young Barack Obama and Tika Sumpter (The Haves and the Have Nots, Get On Up), as a young Michelle Obama.

The movie will follow Barack’s attempts to impress Michelle throughout the day as they visit the Art Institute of Chicago, attend a showing of Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and share their fateful first kiss.  Of course, we all know how this courtship ends, but what Southside With You lacks in narrative surprises, it makes up with insight into both Michelle and Barack’s perceptions of the world, and of course, each other.

The movie displays the contrasting world views of the leads, and how over the course of time, they begin to identify with each other.  The biggest advantage Southside With You has going for it is its ability to take the future power couple off their iconic pedestals.

It’s difficult to imagine now, but Mrs. Obama wasn’t too keen on politics during the early stages of their marriage.  It will be interesting to see how their worldviews clashed. This movie can also pull back the curtain and showcase how Barack’s multi-cultural background broadened Michelle’s horizons, and how her driven nature inspired him.

With plenty of magic to borrow from the real life couple, Southside With You should be an intriguing look at the story behind the legend of Michelle and Barack’s relationship.

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