Culture

It's Love at First Sight for 'Southside With You' Critics

Imagine a Hollywood romance based on the courtship between George W. Bush and Laura Lane Welch, the future first lady.

Almost impossible to envision, right?

Well, Hollywood just made a big-screen romance featuring a famous president and his future bride. “Southside with You” is a creative portrait of the early courtship of Barack and Michelle Obama.

Some facts we do know behind the film’s story. The future president was a community organizer when he first met Michelle Robinson. The couple’s first date did include seeing “Do the Right Thing.” That’s Spike Lee’s incendiary, and genuinely terrific, tale of tempers flaring on a ghastly hot summer day. Other details are concocted, like the speeches given by Barack Obama with an eye toward wooing his potential squeeze.

So is anyone surprised that film critics are lining up to praise the movie? Heck, it’s almost as if they’re passionate fans of the current administration and couldn’t wait to see a movie like “Southside with You.”

Consider that an extension of what Richard Roeper recently admitted to Adam Carolla — critics have agendas, and they activate them with their reviews.

Rolling Stones’ Peter Travers practically waves pom-poms in the film’s general direction:

Drawing from the outline of a date that is now public record, [director Richard] Tanne imagines the details of Barack and Michelle’s conversation with subtlety and feeling. We are seeing major figures in the captivating act of becoming themselves.

NPR raves about the film while simultaneously swatting those who don’t worship at the Obama altar:

Obama’s critics will find little reason to watch a movie humanizing him, even though the film has more to say about Gwendolyn Brooks and Good Times than any specific policy…

Slate’s Dana Stevens offers a bittersweet note about the subject matter. Heck, she already misses the First Couple behind a slumping economy, ramped-up racial tensions, and flat-out lies (Iran deal, ObamaCare):

How is this going to help us with our sorrow about the imminent departure of the first family from the public eye?

Stevens’ mash note is just warming up:

In addition to their being handsome and funny and well-dressed and truly, unfakeably fond of each other, there was the simple and merciful fact that no whiff of intra-Obama scandal occurred during his eight years in office.

Perhaps the most honest review came from the Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday. She gushed over the movie more or less like her peers. She also ended her review with this prediction:

“Southside With You” is the first of what will surely be a spate of mythmaking movies about the Obamas as they prepare to leave the White House.

Anyone want to bet against that?