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SMR 291: The Photograph

Rod and Karen discuss the black rom-com, “The Photograph.” We also discuss movie trailers and your feedback.



    Simply put, this was a beautiful film from start to finish. Even as the film was portrayed as one with no black tramua, it was never overt with that either, allowing a world, in which, we’re not inundated with it. I need to watch more of Issa Rae’s material, because she can act pretty well. She’s pretty expressive & I liked how it worked for her. Keith Stanfield rebounds here, after, what I thought was a middling performance in Uncut Gems. Rob Morgan’s BE ACTING self is in here & is textbook. I almost didn’t recognize Kelvin Harrison Jr, because of stand-out performances in Waves & Luce, nonetheless, he was solid. Stella Meghie did an excellent job writing & directing this film. With all that’s going on with COVID-19, I hope this film gets a second chance on VOD. This is the film that black folks talk about on Twitter & Photograph, barely, made its budget back. Sure, you can’t have black film success without white people, but, also, we as a community, have to support projects like this one, so we can get more movies like these.

  2. Chrisshree

    Can I just say how beautiful Issa and Lakeith and the actress that played her mom and the actor (Daniel) that played her dad and the actress that played her mom’s bestie he’ll almost every black person in this movie looked good. It was soft and romantic and relaxing and just love. This is added to one of my fave movies.

  3. Vinylcollectors

    Hi Rod and Karen. I loved The Photograph and your Spoiled Movie Review. It’s interesting that you mentioned Barry Jenkins movies and how often we’re conditioned to brace ourselves for trauma in black movies. I found myself bracing for it in The Photograph and even in the scene where we first see Christina and her mom and her mom’s boyfriend walk in, my heart sank because I thought it was going to become some sort of abusive or “Precious” kind of moment but Thank God it didn’t. This movie was a breath of fresh air in that respect. And surprisingly I was more affected by the parent/child relationships and storyline in the movie than I did either or the romances. Maybe it is because I’m a single mother of a toddler and I am realizing for the first time how hard parenting is and how we are all just humans trying to do our best to raise and provide for our children. We’re not perfect but we’re trying. Anyway I thought the acting was superb and I can see this one becoming a classic.

  4. Anzidavis

    Hi Rod and Karen, I love this movie. It was so cool to see true portrayal of a love story – awkward and feeling each other out stumbles. My favorite part of the movie is when Micheal bumps into Mae at Isaac’s house. He was like why didn’t you tell me and she was like I did but you didn’t return my call and he was like I didn’t know what to say and she was like ummm Hey Mae, this is Micheal returning your call and he was like yeah I could of done that…. OMG I crack up every time because I have been on both sides of that conversation smh too much in my own head.

  5. ClassicRandBLover

    Hello Rod and Karen

    I loved The Photograph. It was actually more than I hoped for. I was expecting a romance and got a lesson on breaking cycles and an excellent examination of why so many people find themselves unhappy. I loved walking out of The Photograph uplifted, and not feeling shat upon (Yes Lena Waithe, I’m talking about Queen and Slim). The Photograph has joined the ranks of my favorite romantic films. I will definitely be purchasing for annual rewatching and I have purchased that phenomenal soundtrack. Based on this, I give the film a five.

    Strangely, I heard people in my theater complaining that they didn’t like the ending and I thought, “Oh, you didn’t get the film at all. It was about the journey and not repeating the mistakes of the past, both yours and those you observed. It wasn’t about the film telling you Mae and a Michael got married and lived happily ever after.” Sadly, the very people it was designed to give a lesson to— the eternally embittered on Twitter didn’t get it either as they were complaining. I realized, oh these are the Ashley’s (male and female) who scheme on someone else’s significant other, get them, usually by default then secretly resent the fact that deep down their mate loves the other person more. You are the Isaacs (male or female) who settle and then resent the person they are with for not being who they really want to be with. Rather than acknowledge and reflect on that basic truth, you want to tear down the film.

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