The Photograph; Quite Honestly... Worst First Date Ever. Grade: D+
Updated: Apr 27
The Photograph tells a story about a journalist Michael Block (LaKeith Stanfield) whom is working on an article about an interesting man. The interesting man once had a lover in his past that got away, the lover had a daughter named Mae (Issa Rae). Mae shares some past photos of her mother to Michael, as Michael has some interest into persuading Mae into going on a date. As we go through the past of Mae's mother past relationship, we are now facing the present of Mae and Michael having their own fling.
The Cinematography was just fine, I guess the old TV set shots were nice, other than that wasn't really memorable visually speaking. The Score was honestly very forgettable, I may have heard a couple nice sound track selections, but other than that I can't help to remember anything regarding the music. The cast all in all were just ok. I'm a big LaKeith Stanfield fan, as he doesn't often disappoint in any role he does. In this film playing Michael Block he was just acceptable, more than likely because this character is honestly completely dull for my taste. He’s just your normal journalist, happening to have a thing for someone... There's nothing really interesting about this character, it feels like something off a single mothers book club. Issa Rae playing the romantic interest Mae was honestly terrible, it looked like she was completely lost in this role. She never finds her groove in this part, sure maybe at the near end delivering one remorseful scene showing emotion, but other than that it was just a completely awkward performance as it never once connects.
One positive I can make out of The Photograph is I liked the past relationship part of the story, I felt it was a decent part of the film that was interesting, fit the romantic genre of the film well, as well as I actually cared about what was partaking in that part of the story. The biggest problem I have with The Photograph is the present part of the story... It is absolutely dreadfully boring. What's funny is at the third act of the film, it just repeats the same exact moment and the exact same lines back to back... It felt like whomever wrote the script struggled immensely, to put together a compelling romantic story. Disregarding Stanfield and Rae lack of chemistry, you can honestly say that our lead characters are just incredibly uninteresting. Anytime on screen it felt like my mind just wanted to go to sleep because it's just so freaking boring, this part of the story felt like it could be best used on television at best or one of them crappy Netflix originals like To All The Boys P.S. I Still Love You. If the film would've just been about the past relationship part of the film, surely it could at least settle at a C+ maybe B- whom knows. But unfortunately the present just has to be here and it's just painful to sit through.
Overall, The Photograph is extremely disappointing. I was excited to watch this film honestly, I really have no idea what the heck happened here with talent behind it too. I don't recommend this film, especially for one that likes chick flicks, this is def a passed! -Mitch Smietana