The Photograph (2020) Poster

(I) (2020)

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6/10
Okay Film 6.6/10.
ayojerkinskarega14 February 2020
Production: Pretty basic all around. Nothing really stands out, but it isn't bad. Some continuity issues just like every other film. The music really sets the tone of the film. The script is a little dull/generic. 6/10.

On Screen: The acting was okay. Lakeith Stanfield made his character Michael Block, believable but, on the other hand, Issa Rae's character Mae Morton, wasn't. She didn't really have acting range. It's like she is uncomfortable the entire film. Additionally, the secondary characters are just cookie cutouts typical love movie motifs. Also, there are some plot holes that made the secondary story a little confusing. 6/10.

Content/Impact: To see black love portrayed in film is a rarity in itself. The best way to describe this film is love. The love that they show between black men and women, black women, and black men in a positive light, for the most part, is essential to tell our stories from a normalized perspective. This is what happens when we tell our own stories. 8/10.

Overall: It's a solid Valentine's day film to see with your loved ones, but because of the slow nature of this film, the performances needs to be outstanding and this falls short. I'll give it an 6.6/10.
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8/10
Two great stories put together really badly.
subxerogravity14 February 2020
LaKeith Stanfeild and Issae Rae have really good chemistry I felt. It made it believable that their romance was so perfect. Also like the chemistry that Stanfeild had with Lil Rey Howry who played his big brother. The movie was about two stories. the romance between Stanfeild and Rae's character. Then the movie did flashbacks of Rae's character's mother who had to make a choice between a man she loves and her passion. Both on their own made great stories but the way this movie handle both material was not great. It did not blend together well at all as it jumped from one story to another without any real set up. The jazz score made me think this movie was going to be too adult and sophisticated for my taste but after a while I just felt it was being used to cover what was wrong with the flick. Can't say that I did not like it. That would not be true but I can say is that it could have been better.
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10/10
Beautiful Film. New favorite.
jazminedawsonpr16 February 2020
I'm going to watch this a million times. It's a beautiful love story. The all black cast consists of great talent and gorgeous people. The soundtrack is impeccable. If you liked the notebook, this is a similar feel. I was so stunned at how well done this was.
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10/10
An Amazing Love Story
CherriSunset16 February 2020
I loved see these two beautiful black professionals trying to get love right. I also loved how the back story of Mae's mom and her unrequited love. It was creative, unique and healthy view of what love is even with its complications. Im so happy to see positive representation of black love. I'm going to see it again!
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8/10
Two love stories intertwined
isasdestiny15 February 2020
Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield had great chemistry. The story from the past left you longing for a better outcome for the two characters and the story from the present hoped that they learned from the mistakes the past couple made. The music wove a beautiful tapestry to help the flow of the movie. It was reminiscent of Love Jones in that way. It could have been a bit quicker but it was still a great love story overall.
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Beautiful film
queens_be_like15 February 2020
I saw this movie on Valentine's Day with my besties, and we were all enamored by the film. Strong nuanced characters and good writing. Oh, and the souundtrack was amazing. It was two love stories in one and both narratives unfolded in a charming way.
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10/10
Pretty Solid Rom- Com
cintrinotheone14 February 2020
I think Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield had great chemistry on screen but think the script could have been better. Lil Rel Howery kind of stole the show for me and was definitely the funniest parts of the movie
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1/10
Very boring movie and very slow.
agordon-2951914 February 2020
Plot not like other romance movies. So Slow. So Boring
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10/10
Finally! A Movie With Phenomenal Actors & Substance
zac-6827416 February 2020
It's a rare commodity these days to get everything essentially needed to make an organic harmonious movie! The acting is exceptional with an outstanding narrative that doesn't wavier engaging the viewer with beautiful cinematography spritzed with a melodic soundtrack.
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2/10
Snooze fest - Seriously
milyrake15 February 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a guy and like all the other guys in the theater the Valentine's day trump card won out. I wanted to like this, I thought I would like it. I can do the chick flick thing with the best of them. I mean, the Notebook, are you kidding me! But this, oh this.

So slow, so predictable, and the score/soundtrack. What the literal H? I mean, slow jazz in a jazz club, sure. Slow jazz during love making scene, makes sense I guess. Slow jazz walking down the street late at night, in the backyard by the shed, walking up the sidewalk to your dad's house, looking out the window, sitting at your desk at work, hanging out in the kitchen, hanging out in the living room, hanging out with your friend, driving in your car, standing by your car, talking on the phone, at your job interview, in the late 80's, in the present - Slow jazz through out the entire film! Didn't matter if it made sense for the scene or not, slow jazz, slow jazz, slow jazz. Ahhhhhhh! I felt like I was in one of those old detective movies. You know the ones.

The story itself, as a whole, was good, but it was done poorly. Everything you think is going to happen, happens. I kept waiting for that ah ha moment when something big would happen, a twist or a kink in the plot. But nope. It went just as planned, how I thought. Boring. And the letter! You think you find out what's in the letter? Think again buster.

The best part of the whole movie was the brother or brother-in-law -Lil Rel Howery - He was funny.

Don't waste your time or money. You've been warned.
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6/10
Cool and Sexy
Peachesnkream1115 February 2020
The soundtrack to this movie is the smoothest I've heard in a long time. This was a slick movie to listen to and to watch. A Love Jones redux if you will. The acting by Lakeith and Issa was solid although, I feel that Lakeith was given more to do. We get two stories that intertwine but the problem is that I didn't feel for the lead characters (the mom, and Issa Rae's character). I wanted to root and cheer for them, but we weren't given much to go on. The script was like the shell of a house. Great start, but then you forgot to add the plumbing, floors, doors, insulation, etc... There are a lot of stolen glances, soft touches, and sip and smiles but I didn't care about the relationship between Issa and Lakeith either way. I realllllly wanted to like the film more than I did, but I just felt indifferent about it. And for a movie in the romance genre, you really need to have characters you cheer for, even if they don't end up together.
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7/10
Pretty Decentralized
vaughnchill15 February 2020
Ok so I thought it was pretty good. Pretty solid storyline. Nothing really stood out though. Just a story. Not a chick flick or anything and a little different from your romance stories. Was really lost at the beginning on who was who and where they were but eventually you got it. I just think the setup was bad and the execution throughout the storyline could have been a little more polished. It's not a must see and I wouldn't see it again.
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8/10
One of the best love stories I've seen.
Juju_bee5317 February 2020
Let's start with the soundtrack. Robert Glasper did an amazing job with this. It has songs from Al green, Luther Vandross, HER, Lucky Daye and more. Man that was just refreshing.

Now, to the movie. The reason I give this an 8 is due to how slow it goes. Other than that this movie shows a relatable love story that doesn't involve dysfunction like most romance movies.

It was refreshing seeing characters of the darker skin tone shown in a way that didn't involve much trauma.

The cast blended and meshed well. S/o to Lakieth for having the best performance to me.

It was evident at the beginning how this story was going to go though. Another reason why this gets an 8.

I suggest everyone take the time to go see this beautiful movie.
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8/10
Love is the Journey in "The Photograph"
jon.h.ochiai17 February 2020
In "The Photograph" LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae as Michael and Mae talk music smack: Drake or Kendrick Lamar? Mae is all in with Drake. Michael is all in with Kendrick. And the twain shall not meet. Personally, I'm with Michael.

That being said, Writer and Director Stella Meghie displays her natural instinct for authentic dialogue: the ebb and flow. She's also gifted with charismatic and beautiful LaKeith and Issa, who capture the soul of falling madly and deeply in love. Props to Stella for bringing to the screen a heartfelt straight up romance sans the conventional contrived narrative trappings. Yeah, love can be the journey of adversity, but ironically here, the predictable is welcome unpredictability. Just saying.

Mae is the smart, beautiful African American Art Museum curator in New York City. Her single Mom Christine had recently passed away from cancer. Her Mom left letters explaining her past, her regrets in life addressed to Mae.

Strong, innocent Chante' Adams as the young Christine writes, "My Mae - I wish I would have put as much courage in love as I put into my work." Although, Christine did her absolute best, she regrets not loving Mae enough. More to the point: she did not show her love enough. Tearful Mae gets that.

In 1984 Louisiana, Adams's Christine was the young idealistic dreamer, who wanted to be a New York photographer, ditching her hometown confinement. Christine is in love with the handsome hard working crab fisherman Isaac, played by lovingly naïve Y'lan Noel.

Christine and Isaac are so in love, but they want such different lives. Boldly, Christine dares to make a life in New York as a photographer. She's gifted and has grit. Unfortunately, Isaac is left in the aftermath. He keeps a photo he took of Mae with her own camera as a token of their love.

LaKeith's Michael is the brilliant good-looking African American journalist from New York, who works for "The Republic". It's now 2020, Michael is in Louisiana researching his article on the older Isaac Jefferson, played by Rob Morgan with weary gravitas, and the crab fishing industry. Isaac shares about the great love of his life, Christine. Isaac's greatest regret was that he never went after her. He gives Michael the photograph of Christine, telling him of Christine's daughter Mae.

Back in New York, Michael has his protégé intern Andy, played by spritely funny Kelvin, research Mae. Consequently, Michael and Mae hook up albeit initially professionally. Michael recently ended his relationship. His brother Kyle, played by wry hysterical Lil Rel Howery, cautions Michael about getting into yet another. Kyle's no psychic, but sees where this is headed.

Also, Michael is a man at his crossroads: What is he going to do with his life. He tells his annoyed Editor Sara, played by whimsically fostering Chelsea Peretti, that he applied for a job in London. WTF?

In the sweet interlude, Director Stella throws people obstacles between Mae and Michael, when Michael shows up unexpectedly at a movie screening. Taken with Mae, Michael gathers the courage to ask her out for a drink. Hence, the great Drake - Kendrick Lamar debate. Yeah, they're falling in love. Will it work out? Are they willing to make it work?

"The Photograph" is at its best when Michael and Mae are their most authentic. Fortunately, that's most of the movie in Stella's poignant direction. LaKeith's Michael has his epiphany: Although, he's a good man, he's kind of a 'dog'. He starts to get over himself. Issa's Mae isolated herself, to protect herself from getting hurt. Her epiphany: "My Mom wasn't very good at love. I wonder if I'm just like her?" Issa and LaKeith share honest humanity and the touching doubt that we all have. That makes us genuinely pull for them. That's the poignancy of "The Photograph".

I was very sad with the passing of the late NBA legend Kobe Bryant. Kobe was my Hero, because of his work ethic, and his belief that you work to be the greatest that you can be. Amen. In one of his last interviews, he was asked "What is love for you?" Kobe said, "I would describe love as the beautiful journey... You persevere."

That's what's special about "The Photograph". No, love ain't easy. If it's worth having, then we preserve, we make it work. More than just saying. See "The Photograph" and you choose.
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8/10
Go See This Film
nikicianciola-702-65763317 February 2020
I'm surprised by the negative review this movie received. I thought it was a beautiful love story. It is so refreshing to see black people in a positive light. Just a portrayal of everyday life and their family and friends. The music was on point. Really helped the film out and helped set a great tone.

I thought both love stories were beautifully woven and I was just as intrigued by the love story of the past as I was with the current day story. Acting was pretty good and the two main characters had good chemistry.

Yes, it happens to be a love story portrayed by two (actually four) African-American actors, but it is a touching story that can be loved and appreciated by all.
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2/10
When in doubt, use light jazz.
robert-6273816 February 2020
When you don't have good writing and there is nothing for the actors to do, just fill void with background music. No wait, they're talking, crank up music. Repeat throughout movie. There was not enough here to be romantic or a comedy, so I guess they were going for the boring genre.
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10/10
Enjoyed every minute of this love story
ruffinsr15 February 2020
Phenomenal movie! Its refreshing. To appreciate it, you must be willing to leave the Tyler Perry, Oprah self hate genre behind along with Hollywood's stereotypical narrow lense.
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10/10
A love story for everyone
brianaw-3967617 February 2020
This is such a great movie that looks at how our past affects how we look at love. The casting and soundtrack are amazing and the chemistry between the stars is beautiful. Black girl magic and black boy joy are on full display in this movie that is sure to stand the test of time. Don't feel like you have to look a certain way to go see this movie!
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10/10
just wow
diplomatist16 February 2020
Just Brilliant i could not ask for more What a night and what a movie
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10/10
Nice
pinkyapa15 February 2020
Guys truth me the movie is nice go watch it. I love the concept thou it kind of similar to queen and slim
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1/10
This is not diverse enough
edggon8315 February 2020
Hello!!!!!! Where are all the white people? Where are all the Latinos? When are people of color going to understand that we like to be included too.
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3/10
Blah
meme859115 February 2020
Didn't do it for me or many other folks. I actually nodded off a few times. There's nothing in particular that especially horrible but at the same time there's nothing that great. It's just BLAH
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2/10
I mean..
ajabrams9515 February 2020
I don't know if it was because I was hyped for the movie or because I saw the trailer right before going, but it didn't meet my expectations. The movie was quick. Most of the dialogue shown in the trailer was not in the movie. It was a quite disappointing film. For it to be a love story, I was expecting it to give us the beginning to the end of their romance to issues. I feel like we only got the bun off the hamburger, and not the whole thing.
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3/10
Rom bomb
jehoshuaphat17 February 2020
Love love love Issa Rae. She's the only one getting the three stars for just being in this unqualified dud. 15 minutes in, not much going on. 30 minutes, even less happening. 45 minutes, I'm out of the door. Save your buckos for bargain Valentine's chocolate.
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1/10
Don't spend your money
vesjohnson17 February 2020
I like a lot of movies...I have never walk out of the theater before
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