Video: New Indie Film Dramatizes The Obamas' First Date In Chicago
By Mae Rice in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 20, 2016 6:02PM
We all know that Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date, in 1988, went well. (Not to give too much away but, they got married.) At this year’s Sundance Film Festival, though, audiences will be able to see it for themselves—or at least one director's imagining of it—in the indie film Southside With You.
Created by actor and first-time director Richard Tanne, the film was shot in Chicago and stars Parker Sawyers as the future President and Tika Sumpter as the future first lady, Michelle Robinson. (Robinson is Michelle's maiden name.)
Here's the first released clip of the film—in which a young Barack promises Michelle "It's not a date until you say it is"—courtesy of Yahoo Movies:
As Tanne explained to Yahoo, the script is based on a mix of research and invention.
I wasn’t there on the date, and there wasn’t a stenographer taking notes on the date, so it really did come down to educating myself as much as possible Not just about their lives, but also about what was happening in the world at that time and what was happening in Chicago at that time, and trying to extrapolate from there.
He had plenty of room to be creative, though, especially because the Obamas own accounts of their first date differ. A few things are definitely known: They went to the Art Institute, saw Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, had their first kiss at Baskin-Robbins, and started one of the world’s most aspirational relationships.
One other thing that's 90 percent definitely known: They know about the film.
“I’ve heard from pretty reliable second-hand sources that they are aware of the movie, that they are curious to see it, and also, I think, rightfully baffled that it exists,” Tanne told Yahoo Movies.