Staring : LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae, Chelsea Peretti
Written and Directed by Stella Meghie
Love is in the air as it is that time of year, you know the second weekend of February where you see nothing but red. With that date there always comes a movie that will make its way out and do its best to show us the way love should be. That though is hardly the truth, well maybe it makes you feel like it for a short period of time before the blinders come off. Most of those movies are filled with people who always says the right thing and no matter what, things always seem to work out in the end. Life though is different and some movies embrace this, not just in their stories but in their language, things just seem more natural.
I say all of that because those relatable films are what draws me in, as those fake films about love have ruined my life with false expectations for way too long. With The Photograph the vibe felt right, I only hoped it would follow through. Michael Block (LaKeith Stanfield) is a reporter working on a story that takes him from New York to Louisiana. The subject of that story is lost love and the man he is talking to named Isaac (Rob Morgan) tells him about the woman that got away and shares with him the only photograph he has of her. The picture leads Michael back to New York where he meets that woman’s daughter Mae (Issa Rae) and instantly feels a connection. As the two of them get to know one another, Mae’s mother’s past starts to unfold, as does her own as some truths are discovered all while relationships past and present work themselves out to what they were and what they could be when the right things are said.
I will say that The Photograph never becomes the movie I wanted it to be, but at the same time it never let me down. A lot of that has to do with Rae and Stanfield who I want to see more of together as they sizzle on screen. The story written by Stella Meghie, who also directs, tells of lost loves and the things that were never said that could have changed everything. Keeping that sprit I wish the film was more about Rae and Stanfield’s characters as their love blossomed and their challenges along the way. Their story is the strongest as is their pull that brings you in their orbit. The part that brought them together and also links the past and present feels like a different movie than what we see with just them. That change though doesn’t make The Photograph bad, it just keeps it from reaching its potential. Some pictures stay with you forever, and while this one doesn’t reach that status, it is good enough to recommend over the usual dumbed down fare we tend to get every year.