Sylvie's Love Movie Review
Listen, I get it: everyone wants to romance Tessa Thompson. I do. My lovely wife does. My mom does. And Sylvie’s Love is all about romancing Tessa Thompson, so how can you argue with it?
Sylvie’s Love is the kind of movie I hate to review. I’m a pretty simple guy when it comes to movies; I’m not going to give a deep analysis of the film, examining its intricacies or explaining how even the power of love and mutual affection doesn’t mean relationships are easy. In absence of any of that, all I can speak to is how the movie made me feel, would I recommend it to you my loyal reader (or disloyal reader, you bastard), and whether I see me ever watching it again.
On an emotional level, and a filmmaking level, Sylvie’s Love works well. While I wasn’t swept away by the on and off relationship that serves as the undercurrent for the story, it still presents a believable, relatable romance that makes you want these two lovers to stay together in the end. The movie does a fine job of portraying two sharp and talented black people progressing through the careers at a point in time when black people are just beginning to get their big breaks in greater numbers. And the acting is immersive; the actors get lost in their characters in all the right ways.
But here’s why I hate reviewing movies like Sylvie’s Love. It’s a good movie. Well made. Well written. Well acted. Well directed. It’s also the kind of movie that draws you in in the moment, and then vanishes from your memory shortly thereafter. Six months from now will I remember it, no matter how good its traits? Will I ever watch it again, or even feel the desire to watch it again? Can I recommend it to you, devotee, and promise it will serve as anything more than a fleeting thought in your brain?
Sylvie’s Love will appeal to some, and that’s great. Those looking for a romantic drama that simply makes you feel good—and there are plenty of people who need exactly that right now—will find something to like here. And of course, as a white guy, certain aspects of the story aren’t going to resonate with me in the same way as others (in which case you’re probably and justifiably not pinning your decision to watch this movie on my opinion alone).
Either way, in the end, Sylvie’s Love is a good movie. It just isn’t a great one.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.