‘Southside With You’ Imagines Barack and Michelle Obama’s First Date: Watch the Trailer


A true stroll down memory lane. Southside With You, a film that imagines President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama’s first date, shows the two public figures as young lawyers pre-romance and pre-White House, in the sweltering summer heat of Chicago in 1989.

In the official trailer, released on Thursday, April 28, Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) gets ready to head out of the house to attend a community event with Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers), a young associate at the firm where she works.

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Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers
Sumpter and Sawyers portray the young Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama in ‘Southside With You.’ Matt Dinerstein/Miramax and Roadside Attractions

“Michelle … I thought it wasn’t a date?” her mother says with a knowing look as the future first lady scurries around the house.

“It isn’t,” she replies. Her mother comments that it’s “an awful lot of trouble” that she’s going through to look nice for a nondate.

“So what’s this boy’s name?” her father asks.

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“Barack Obama.”

What follows is a romantic comedy meet-cute based on the real-life events that led to Barack and Michelle’s love story, including a stubborn Michelle insisting that their hangout is “not a date” for the vast majority of the day.

Michelle Obama and Barack Obama
Michelle and Barack Obama arrive for the congressional picnic. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The pair walk and talk, à la the characters in Richard Linklater’s Before series, touring the Art Institute, attending a community meeting and seeing Spike Lee’s just-released Do the Right Thing.

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Watch the preview clip of the Sundance-premiered, John Legend-produced flick above! Southside With You is set to open in theaters in August.

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