Yesterday, two stills were released from Southside With You, the movie depicting the President and the First Lady's first date. I have some thoughts about this.
1. A friend and I used to joke about each other being a "big deal." Sometimes it would happen in conversation ("Waitress at Pamela's got me extra crispy bacon today. Because I'm a big deal."). Sometimes it would be a text from her ("A man gave up his seat on the bus for me today. #bigdeal"). It was both self-deprecating and self-important; a way of assuaging our egos while also acknowledging that the big deals we'd cite weren't really big deals at all.
That said, I do like to think of myself as a big deal. As I repeated to myself in the mirror this morning, I'm the shit and shit.
But then, I saw the stills from a major motion picture. A biopic with millions of dollars invested and dozens of jobs created that thousands (and maybe millions) of people will pay to see. That's being made about two very important people. But not a full biopic about their entire lives. Or even a Selma-esque look at a very important series of events that happened in a very short period of time. But a movie about a…date. And then I thought about how big of a deal you have to be for a mundane first date with your future spouse to be historically relevant enough to produce an entire movie about it. And then I thought about how comparing that (uppercase) BIG DEAL to my (lowercase) big deal is like comparing a tsunami to a puddle of tears. From a gnat. A puddle of gnat tears. And then I made my own puddle of tears.
2. Do the Right Thing — the movie Barack and Michelle saw on this date — is either one of the best or one of the worst first date movies of all time. I can't figure out which. It could be one of the best because, well, if you're a pro-Black person intent on marrying a pro-Black person, taking a date to see that movie that summer would have been the single best vet possible. I can't imagine anything weeding out pro-Black poseurs better than their reaction to your post-movie vent about Radio Raheem.
But, it could be one of the worst because I can't imagine transitioning from "Fight the Power!" and "Fuck the Police!" to "So…you wanna come back to my place tonight and Fight the Power…between the sheets?"
3. Tika Sumpter looks like someone decided to sculpt a human out of a six foot block of Willy Wonka chocolate. She is a real-life performance art installation; people should pay money to enter galleries to drink wine and Stella Artois and view pictures of Tika Sumpter doing things like "sitting at brunch" and "standing on her porch while deciding whether to order an Uber or just walk because it's nice out today."
4. It's interesting how each of the stills feature Michelle gazing at Barack while Barack looks off to the distance. This gives the impression that she's completely transfixed by him, and that whatever he's saying is so profound — and so swoon-worthy — that he can't even make eye contact with an actual human while saying it.
Her look, btw, is also the look every guy reading this (myself included) hopes his date/girl/wife has when attempting to convince her he could have been a rapper.
5. Jay Pharoah probably does the best Obama impression, but my favorite is Jordan Peele's. Neither of these men, however, look anything like him. Parker Sawyers does. At least he does in these stills. And this aesthetic similarity should him help disappear into this role. And should also help us forget that his name sounds like a blue blood brunch spot in Annapolis, Maryland.