Review: ‘The Photograph’ provides Valentine’s Day romance with meaning

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Alexis Montgomery

"The Photograph" screening at the AMC Esquire 7

Alexis Montgomery, Culture Editor

This movie review was produced in collaboration with Lindenwood’s campus radio station, KCLC.  

The Photograph” is the perfect movie to watch if you’re looking for a romantic drama with a few laughs.

This film’s release is perfectly timed, coming out this Friday on Valentine’s day. “The Photograph” isn’t your typical cheesy romance. It’s a movie that shows how two people can come together in the modern world of dating and be joined by the past.

“The Photograph,” is directed and written by Stella Meghie, and stars African-American actors LaKeith Stanfield (“Sorry to Bother You” and FX’s “Atlanta”) and Issa Rae (HBO’s “Insecure).

The film follows Mae Morton (Issa Rae) through a journey to find herself and learn about her past. After her mother unexpectedly dies, Mae sets out on a journey to discover her mother’s past.  During this journey, she meets a journalist, Michael Block (Stanfield), and the two instantly connect.

The movie goes back and forth showing her mother’s love life and contrasting it to Mae’s own experience. Mae shares some of the same struggles that her mother faced in her relationship. Like Mae’s mother, Michael is also career-driven and wants big things in life. Though Mae and Michael tease each other and face ups and downs, their relationship is authentic. In the struggles of the modern dating world and demanding lives, the two try to figure out what they want and how to be with each other.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Reviewed at AMC Esquire 7, Richmond Heights, Missouri, on Feb. 12, 2020.

MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 106 minutes.