SUNDANCE 2020 FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! In the late 1950s, Rock Hudson and a litany of the hottest starlets fell in-and-out of love in the post-war/pre-rock setting of an optimistic America where opportunities abound, and the romance was…romantic. In a way, Eugene Ashe’s Sylvie’s Love pays homage to that era of filmmaking but instead, the tone is jazz and the setting is 1950s African-American culture.
Tessa Thompson plays Sylvie, a young teen who works in her father’s record shop because he can’t afford to hire anyone else. That is until Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha) walks through the door. Robert is looking for a job…although he’d really rather hang out with Sylvie instead. Out of compassion, Sylvie’s father hires him and the pair start a will they/won’t they relationship. They ultimately will.
“As soon as Robert leaves, Sylvie begins experiencing severe nausea…particularly in the morning…you know…”
Robert’s other gig is on saxophone for an up-and-coming jazz band. In fact, so “up-and-coming” the group is hired to go on tour with a famous singer. Sylvie encourages Robert to leave on tour as their lives are meant to go down separate paths. As soon as Robert leaves, Sylvie begins experiencing severe nausea…particularly in the morning…you know…she’s pregnant.
Years later, Robert is a successful musician, his touring is going great, and the jazz band is making hit records. Sylvie, on the other hand, is married to a successful businessman (thanks to affirmative action), and they have a child, who…let me check the math…anyways, they have a child. Working at a menial job at the local TV station, Sylvie takes a bold step and applies for a position as a producer’s assistant. The producer being their first black woman to fill such a role admires Sylvie straight-talk and knowledge of television shows. She gets the job and is quite skilled working and wrangling its star, Lucy (Wendi McLendon-Covey).
"…just tell her you love her, goddammit."