Duration: 01 Hr 54 Mins
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Director: Eugene Ashe
Writer: Eugene Ashe
Producers: Eugene Ashe, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jonathan T. Baker, Emmet Dennis, Jay Gaines, Akbar Gbajabiamila, Gabrielle Glore, Bobbi Sue Luther, Arinze Okwuadigbo, Obinna Okwuadigbo, Matt Rachamkin, Sidra Smith, Joe Suarez, Tessa Thompson, Matthew Thurm, Carl Daryl Washington
Music: Fabrice Lecomte
Cinematography: Declan Quinn
Editing: Dana Congdon
Release Date: 25 December 2020 (USA)
Released On: Amazon Prime
Star Cast: Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Eva Longoria, Aja Naomi King, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jemima Kirke, Tone Bell, Alano Miller, Regé-Jean Page, Lance Reddick, John Magaro, Ron Funches, Ryan Michelle Bathe, Erica Gimpel, MC Lyte, Tucker Smallwood, Raquel Horsford, Hayley McCarthy, Daniel J. Watts, Lorenzo Hughes, Christian Lagadec, Shane Stevens, Kareem Stroud, Jeff Kenny, B.J. Clinkscales, Antonio Wilson, Greg Eagles, Nina Ashe, Jahdai Pickett, Tony Brown, Khafre King, Pierce Minor, Kalina Vanska, Windi Washington
Plot: Sylvie (Tessa Thompson) working at her father's record store in Harlem in the late 1950s meets an aspiring saxophone player Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), who dreams of having a great career as a jazz musician. He is already part of a band, however, is somewhat overshadowed by the bandleader. Since success is still a bit in coming, he has taken a part-time job in the same record store. It is not just the many albums that arouse his interest, but also Sylvie.
The two get along well from the start, and feelings develop quickly. But there are two central issues - Sylvie is engaged, and the two lovers are from vastly different backgrounds. What happens next forms the rest of the story.
Review: What if love crosses your path at a time when you are unable to accept it? This is what the director and screenwriter Eugene Ashe have portrayed in his romantic drama Sylvie’s Love - a timeless love story ticking through the decades between two characters, fated to cherish the other yet meant to part.
The film contains an exploration of the social implications of class and how it affects not only our love lives but everything around us. Sylvie is forced to navigate the expectations placed upon her by her family’s social standing and what her mother wishes her to be. These expectations run counter to the person Sylvie wishes to be and the life she wants to lead.
Also, it is rare to see a Black love story that is strictly a love story! Most period pieces composed around Black stories have more to do with trauma than artistic expressions or career dreams.
If one fault needs to be pointed out in the film, then it is the length. As running at 114 minutes, the love affair’s wings lose height.
However, when it comes to performances, Tessa Thompson as an ambitious Sylvie who must choose between heart and reason is convincing as usual. The same applies to the much lesser known ex-football professional Nnamdi Asomugha. The love story of the two protagonists works flawlessly, and that is certainly due to the chemistry of the two main actors.
Even the supporting cast Eva Longoria, Lance Reddick, Aja Naomi King, and Jemima Kirke add additional value to the film.
Talking about the technical aspects of the film, the impeccable sense of authenticity found throughout Sylvie’s Love would pull the audience in. The beautiful cinematography makes it feel like a retro film, while the production design, costumes, and soundtrack add to that authenticity. In short, it is a wonderfully lush period production that perfectly captures the look and texture of the MGM studio-era romances of the 1950s.
Speaking of the music, the soundtrack is poetic, beautiful, and full of love. It just enriches the film to another level.
Overall, Eugene Ashe has succeeded in making a heartfelt love story with good actors and a chic look, that ensures relaxation, at least for a short time!