Movie News & Reviews
“Southside With You” is familiar and yet new. In its form — two people go on a long first date and talk and talk – the movie is reminiscent of Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise.” But here we also get the mythologizing of a sitting president: a detailed, semifictional account of Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date. The film was written and directed by Richard Tanne, who researched the Obamas’ first date with no help from the first family. Tanne pieced together as many details as he could from the historical record, and he made up the rest. For the record, Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson really did go to the Art Institute of Chicago, and to Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing.” They really did get ice cream, and the movie shows them having their first kiss at the time and place it actually happened. But the community meeting depicted in the film may have occurred on a different day.