If Southside With You succeeds at being anything beyond bizarre Obama fan fiction, it's giving these two "characters" an anchor. Michelle loves ice cream. Barack smoked boat loads of pot in his younger years. They're adorable people who bring all their baggage home. Obama, and all future Presidents of the United States, start out as people, not just avatars for a system.
If Southside With You were a little sharper, a little more fluid, a little less aware of its own grandeur, then its deconstruction of the Obamas would be essential. Instead, it's just an adorable 90-minute fling.
At a Sundance Q&A for the movie, Tanne fielded the inevitable question: are the Obamas weirded out by Southside With You? "We've heard from some pretty reliable sources that they are aware, and they are excited," he said. "They are also a little baffled by its existence."
The Obama administration's first bipartisan opinion?
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Matt Patches is Thrillist's Entertainment Editor. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, Vulture, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Guardian. He's never been to Chicago. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.