By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
It’s been a while since I’ve seen an African-American love story that is as touching, beautiful and meaningful as the new drama, “Sylvie’s Love”
from former Sony music artist turned director and screenwriter Eugene Ashe (“Homecoming”).
The film’s dynamic lead stars Tessa Thompson
(“Creed” and TV’s “The Left Right Game”) and Nnamdi Asomugha
(“Crown Heights”) also produced/co-executive produced “Sylvie’s Love” and they are pure magic together.
The year is 1957 and the setting is Harlem. Sylvie (a fabulous Thompson) works at her family’s record store. Her father Herbert, (a fine Lance Riddick, “One Night in Miami” and upcoming “Godzilla vs. Kong”) used to play the saxophone in a jazz group but gave it up for his family. Now the record shop binds him to the music he loves so much.
Sylvie knows a lot about jazz too and artists like John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. She’s also well-versed on other genres of music including rock ‘n’ roll groups like Bill Haley & His Comets. However, Sylvie’s passion is television. She spends countless hours watching TV shows and dreams of producing her own show one day. It’s a lofty goal since there aren’t many black women TV producers in the business.
Sylvie’s mother would rather she focus instead on her fiancé Lacy (a terrific Alano Miller, TV’s “Cherish the Day”) who is away in the military and besides, he can provide for her because Lacy’s parents are wealthy.
Does Sylvia really love Lacy or is the impending marriage merely to make her parents happy?
The answer to that question arrives when a handsome young man named Robert (an outstanding Asomugha) notices the Help Wanted sign in the record store and inquires about the position. Although Robert plays the sax in a jazz quartet, he could use the extra money.
When Robert and Sylvie start talking about jazz and other types of music, well, something starts to build between them. Sylvie tries to fight it, but my goodness, Robert is charmingly persistent and the more they talk, the more they begin to fall for each other. Plus, her dad is even taken by Robert and hires the guy right on the spot.
Of course, life gets in the way when Robert’s band finds a publicist (Jemima Kirke, TV’s “Girls”) who gets them more exposure and gigs including a stint at a famous club in Paris.
Although Sylvie and Robert are apart, they can’t stop thinking of each other and their forbidden love. As luck would have it, they run into each other again and their desire hasn’t waned. Sylvie must decide whether she wants to continue the charade with Lacy--who is a bit controlling--or roll the dice and make it work with Robert who is struggling as a jazz musician now that Motown and R&B music has become all the rage.
Will Sylvie put her dreams on hold for Robert? Will Robert insist she come to Detroit with him?
Some surprising developments arise that appear will alter their plans, but love manages to find a way and makes this love story soar.
“Sylvie’s Love” is a must-see and is currently available on Amazon Prime.
Be sure to catch my N2Entertainment.net movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.
Watch This Trailer For "SYLVIE'S LOVE"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics' Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.