That day is the subject of writer-director Richard Tanne’s romantic drama Southside with You, in which White House lore becomes Tinseltown legend as the first couple’s first date unfolds over the course of one epic walk ’n’ talk, a la Before Sunrise. During a Q&A after the film’s premiere, Tanne confirmed that the first couple are familiar with Southside with You. I’d like to think so (although only President Obama knows the real truth).

... Southside With You | … It never feels awkward, and it's not overtly political.". By Julie Mille r. January 26, 2016 He showed his cultural side, and then we took a nice long walk down Michigan Avenue.”, In the video, her husband smirks at the memory and addresses the men out there watching: “Art, guys out there—it impresses people.”. “They are excited. “We've heard from some pretty reliable sources that they are aware [of the film],” the writer-director said. John Legend, a pal of the presidential couple, is an executive producer of Southside With You and last week told reporters that he's recommended President Obama and the first lady "check it out soon." “On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb,” the plaque quotes President Obama as saying in an excerpt from a 2007 interview with Oprah’s O Magazine. In a highly effective move, the will they/won’t they drama of Southside with You climaxes with an incident that very much did happen in real life—kinda. Granted, the first couple did not fly Air Force One into Park City, but they did appear in fictionalized film form in Southside with You, Richard Tanne’s charming romance re-imagining the couple’s first date in Chicago in 1989—as the duo see Do the Right Thing, get ice cream, and attend a community meeting. There, in the film, they get to know each other a little better: She hates pie, but loves ice cream. Premiering the indie in January at Sundance to an audience of overwhelmingly charmed critics (guilty as charged—read my review here), director Tanne admitted that “the trajectory of the date,” pieced together from public record and interviews, is “about 90 percent accurate.” Warm performances by star-producer Tika Sumpter and newcomer Parker Sawyers carry the film, which is highlighted by Sawyers’s spitting likeness to the real Obama and his ability to nail the 44th POTUS’s effortlessly charismatic swag. Again, it's a fictionalized account, so I tried to be as authentic as possible.”. "We can’t wait to share Richard’s vision with a wider and more diverse audience.". Like Southside’s brief mention of Obama’s white girlfriend at Columbia, the name of the real partner is changed onscreen. The film stars Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter. Writer-director Richard Tanne’s Linklater-esque romantic drama hits theaters Aug. 26. Sitemap | Part of the reason for their surprise—they weren't alerted of the film during its scripting phase, because Tanne based the project entirely on information that had been made public about that first date. It is impossibly adorable and, frankly, will be irresistible catnip to fans of the exiting Obamas. In the summer of 1989, future history books will teach the children of the world, 25-year-old Chicago lawyer Michelle Robinson reluctantly went on a non-date-date with a cute Harvard Law student named Barack Obama that changed America. What Barack and Michelle Obama Think About Southside with You, the Sundance Homage to Their Love Story. Terms of Use |

They had ice cream. They had lunch afterwards.

Of course, as Southside with You opens, both Michelle and Barack are bristling with excitement as they get ready for their first solo hang—she, primping at home while denying it’s a date, and he, coolly smoking a cig while reading a book in a wife beater. But how accurately does it depict the moment the Obamas began to fall in love?

There are first dates — and then there are first dates that have the chance to impact history. The Obamas had their historic first meal together by the fountain in the Art Institute’s courtyard, although the film shows them eating sandwiches in a park.

Southside With You is projected to do well among African-American women, art house audiences and general consumers feeling nostalgic about the end of the Obama presidency. The film premiered on Sunday at the film festival. “I think they were a little embarrassed,” Minow told The Washington Post. Remembering their first date in that 2012 YouTube video, they’re all smiles.

It’s a crucial moment for Movie Michelle, who watches as the playful Obama transforms in front of her eyes into a stirring public leader, rallying frustrated citizens into persevering for the future.

“He showed all the sides,” said Michelle, giving props to the grinning president. The ostensible purpose of Michelle and Barack’s “date” was to attend a community meeting on the South Side as colleagues.

He added, however, that he understands why it could be tough to watch yourself being played by someone else on the big screen. | Cookie Settings, Courtesy of Roadside Attractions; Getty Images, Miramax and Roadside picked up U.S. rights to the film. Southside With You review – likable account of the Obamas' first date 3 / 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars. Of course there wasn't a note taker on the dates, so you just have to extrapolate from what's there.”, “The trajectory of the date is about 90 percent accurate,” he continued. One such encounter is detailed in first-time feature director Richard Tanne's new movie Southside With You, chronicling President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama's first date in 1989 when they were young lawyers at the same Chicago firm. Vanity Fair may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. He hates ice cream, and maybe also his dead father. Ad Choices. But both the president and the first lady agree that taking that gallery detour was a pretty smooth move. Thanks to the strong critical reaction and a successful screening program — not to mention President Obama's surging approval rating in the waning days of his administration — partners Miramax and Roadside Attractions have quietly decided to open Southside With You nationwide, versus a platform run, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. © 2020 The Hollywood Reporter 4:58. What is indisputable in Southside with You is how that legendary date ended, three years before they’d eventually be married: with a first kiss over ice cream outside the Baskin-Robbins in Chicago at the intersection of Dorchester and East 53rd Street, where a plaque now commemorates the historic moment. From the awards race to the box office, with everything in between: get the entertainment industry's must-read newsletter.

The pic has booked 801 theaters to date, include numerous locations in major markets including Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

“It was a cool date, actually,” Michelle admitted years later in a White House promo video the couple posted to Obama’s YouTube page. Unfortunately, the film uses him for its own dramatic purposes: to play up the racial and cultural frictions that theoretically gave Barack and Michelle common ground as two of the only African-Americans at the office, and to justify Movie Michelle’s fears that the older white men of Sidley Austin might lose respect for her as an attorney in her own right if she started dating Barack. The film’s Michelle, actress Tika Sumpter, was cast early on—as an initial advocate of the project, she also served as a producer. This year's Sundance Film Festival featured two very special cameos, from President Obama and Michelle Obama. But then they walked, and talked, and made it to the community meeting in a church where Obama spent his pre-Harvard years working for the Altgeld Gardens public housing development. So I just imagined that everyone would think I would suck anybody so [expectations] were really, really low,” Sawyers said to audience laughs. “So we had lunch, and he had this bad sport jacket and a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and I thought: ‘Oh, here you go. Pamela McClintock “And through the years I have been reading as many books as possible.

All rights reserved. According to a Washington Post profile, she’d told her mother that summer that she was going to focus on her career and not worry too much about dating.

In the film an angry Michelle relents, then is impressed when the young, smooth-talking Obama drops serious knowledge about the work of African-American actor and painter Ernie Barnes and his iconic “Sugar Shack.”, We may not know what artwork the Obamas bonded over that day.

FACEBOOK Michelle, a hard-working and ambitious black female lawyer in a company and field dominated by white men, had graduated cum laude from Princeton and parlayed her Harvard JD into a gig at Chicago’s Sidley Austin law firm. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. “Take tips, gentlemen.”. by 1 hit “Miss You Much” while driving across town to swoop Michelle in his beat-up yellow Datsun? After that, their crackling chemistry and tentative attraction builds over beers that may or may not have happened—even as she maintains her distance, worried that the hard work she’s had to put in at work just to be taken seriously will be erased if she begins dating her junior associate.

“He was hip, cutting-edge, cultural, sensitive—the fountain, nice touch. © 2020 Condé Nast. To Obama: From Promise to Power author David Mendell, Michelle explained her apprehension at the young chain-smoking biracial charmer from Hawaii. They share their frustrations, ambitions, hopes, and dreams, and start testing each other, pushing each other’s buttons, and glimpsing the untapped potential the other can’t quite see. But do the Obamas know about the indie homage to their first date? I love the Obamas, so that was a big part of my excitement," said Roadside co-president Howard Cohen. "Also it's a great film in and of itself about a pair of public figures. Michelle, years later, told author Mendell that the lunch didn’t quite convince her she was wrong about Barack. His initial audition was an impersonation of commander in chief Obama. Hitting the movies to check out Spike Lee’s controversial new joint Do The Right Thing, the pair find themselves face to face with Michelle’s nightmare: a senior white partner from their law firm, who’s also come to check out the movie. But first, the movie says, he hustled her into a pre-meeting stop at the Art Institute of Chicago to take in an art exhibit. So far, the Obamas haven't publicly commented on the film, but it has been made available to them for viewing via the Motion Picture Association of America, which routinely provides movies to the White House.

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