Sylvie’s Love, 2020.
Written and Directed by Eugene Ashe.
Starring Tessa Thompson, Nnamdi Asomugha, Eva Longoria, Aja Naomi King, Wendy McLendon-Covey, and Jemima Kirke.
An upper-middle-class girl working in her father’s record store meets an aspiring saxophone player in 1950s Harlem.
Sylvie’s Love is a period romance movie that exists in a world where music is the true language of the people. Anyone with some rhythm and harmony aspires to get into show business. In a world where the biggest influences are Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis, it takes more than regular talent to make it in the music business. To make it, you must be willing to sacrifice everything, even love.
Writer and director Eugene Ashe transforms Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha into two Harlem residents named Sylvie and Robert. Robert has big dreams of being a famous saxophone player and while his band thinks he is a good sax player, others find him to be a great saxophonist in the making. Robert spends his nights playing with his bandmates and even though he enjoys it, he is struggling to make ends meet.
Robert finds himself at a record shop and that is where he spots Sylvie—a young, upper-middle-class girl who loves watching television in her father’s store. Robert who is smitten by Sylvie tries everything he can to get her attention and she pays him no mind and brushes him off. But when she finally looks at him, it’s love at first sight for her. Robert and Sylvie eventually become close, as friends at first, but they both soon discover they have an undeniable attraction amongst them and they don’t know what to do about it.
Sylvie and Robert both make choices that they don’t like and struggle to live with. As they grow older, their love never dies even though they are living in different worlds. Their complicated love impacts their personal and professional lives and they realize that their happiness can’t be satisfied by material things.
Sylvie’s Love is an unexpected and beautiful Christmas love story that invokes beautiful music and complicated love between two people. Despite the path they each wanted to take in life, they both realize that love is the best path to take even if that means giving up things they love. Their love is tumultuous, distant and even painful but it’s also vibrant, steamy and raw. Hughes does an impressive job of using jazz to carry emotions through each scene which will make you feel like you are in the room watching them.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Erika Hardison nerds out about books, superheroes and old-school cartoons. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Fabulizemag