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film review

Tika Sumpter, left, and Parker Sawyers in a scene from "Southside With You."Matt Dinerstein/Miramax and Roadside Attractions/The Associated Press

It's all too easy to be cynical about a film chronicling the first date of Barack and Michelle Obama. It trivializes the U.S. President's very real and complex legacy! It swaps talk of drones and NSA spying with a meet-cute romance! It plays politics in an election year overflowing with insanely dangerous ideologies! But, those concerns aside, Southside with You is a simple film only designed to charm. Writer-director Richard Tanne culled details in the public domain to help ensure his film stuck to the facts as much as possible, but there's also a fair bit of fantasy as we follow a young Barack Obama (look-alike, but not sound-alike, Parker Sawyers) and Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) around Chicago back in the summer of 1989. It's breezy and cute and will do absolutely nothing to sway anyone's politics. Which is exactly the point.