In the summer of 1989 a lawyer and her legal associate go on a first date, taking in an art gallery, a trip to the movies and a shared ice cream. Standard date-fare perhaps but this couple would go on to be one of the most powerful in the world, marking their own chapter in American history – Barack and Michelle Obama.
With a premise straight out of the romance-movie textbook, writer-director Richard Tanne has crafted a smart and sophisticated drama that offers much more than a meet-cute. Earning a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, it’s since gone on to achieve widespread critical acclaim.
Recounting the couple’s real experiences as closely as possible, which includes a cinema screening of Spike Lee’s landmark race movie Do the Right Thing, Tanne’s script expertly portrays two modest figures starting out on a momentous journey, helped along by two uncanny performances from Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter. The result is a film with the same breezy charm and intellectual undertow as Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ trilogy, blessed with the calm charisma we've come to associate with the real Obamas.