Sylvie’s Love Movie Review
Spoilers sprinkled throughout.Sylvie’s Love is everything I wanted The Photograph, with Issa Rae, to be. Whatever the missing piece that held me back from loving ThePhotograph was, Sylvie’s Love had it. Starring, Tessa Thompson, and Nnamdi Asomugha as Sylvie and Robert respectively, Sylvie’s Love took the audience back to back to the late 1950s where guy meets girl, falls in love, loses girl, and well, you know how the story goes. Robert a talented saxophone player gets a job in a record shop just to meet the beautiful girl he spots in the window, and their love blossomed from there.
I love Tessa Thompson. She is beautiful and quirky but that as Sylvie, she was poised and reserved. In contrast, her cousin Mona, played by Aja Naomi King, was definitely quirky and bold and beautifully spirited. I enjoyed their onscreen friendship as what a true girlfriend should be to each other. True girlfriends should be able to be about their business and life but always there for each other to not only be trusted but also be supportive and nonjudgemental. I also enjoyed Sylvie’s relationship with her father. I found it interesting that Sylvie would have deprived her own daughter of this type of relationship had the truth not come out about her daughter’s parentage.
As far as her relationship with Robert, they could have used a touch more chemistry. Fortunately, that did not take away from their love story. The writing gave just the right amount of tension and angst and conflict at just the right times. There were so many little golden nuggets to love about this movie. I enjoyed the outfits of the period as well as the music selections. The subtly hint at the ongoing fight for freedom with Mona being an activist was woven in delicately as not to take the focus away from the love story. The drama with the band and Robert were all written to add to the plot build-up without taking anything away from the main story once again.
The acting was solid. Alano Miller did a wonderful job as Lacy. He carried off the dual nature of the character very well- a jerk we still felt sorry for. I did not care for the way Sylvie treated him at the end of that relationship, but there is a lot to learn from that. Lacy was kind of a jerk even but that does not mean he deserved what happened to him. On the flip side, he knew what the deal was and decided to marry her anyway. He was a little narcissistic so I am sure he thought he can get her to forget about Robert. At the end of the day, one person’s love will not be enough to fill the other.
There is one thing about the writing of Sylvie’s Love that I did not like which is why it will get a minus. That bogus part at the end where he left her because he did not get the music job with Motown but he did not want her to stop pursuing her career so he left her. They attempted to compare it to her not telling him that she was pregnant (not a good comparison BTW) and make it seem as if it were a sacrifice. This dude left the daughter he just found out about and the love of his life because of pride! That was just dumb. If they had left it at that it would have tanked my whole impression of the movie.
Overall, I enjoyed this movie more than the last few I have watched.