Mixed (Divisive)Movies

Sylvie’s Love (2020) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

A Reminder That Love Is Rarely Perfect And Sometimes Impure

Community Rating: 32.49% (3)

While the longing looks and stolen moments will entice you, it’s hard to move past how Sylvie’s Love begins soiled.


Director(s)Eugene Ashe
Screenplay ByEugene Ashe
Date Released (Amazon Prime)12/23/2020
Genre(s)Drama, Romance, Musical, Historical
Duration1 Hour 54 Minutes
RatingPG-13
Noted Cast
SylvieTessa Thompson
RobertNnamdi Asomugha
LacyAlano Miller

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Film Summary

The film is evenly split between 1962 New York and 1957 New York and focuses on Ms. Sylvie Parker and Robert Halloway. Sylvie, in 1957, is engaged to a man named Lacy, and Robert is a self-taught saxophonist who wanders into the shop of Sylvie’s father and catches her eye. Thus leading to a constant back and forth dealing with neither necessarily having good timing for something is always off. Be it the relationships they’re in, their job situation, always something. Leaving you to wonder, will there ever be a perfect moment, or will they just learn to figure out a way to make it work?

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: Smoking, drinking, nothing too scandalous.
  • Jump Scares/ Laughs/ Tear-Jerking Moments: None.

Review

Highlights

You So Badly Want To Just Lull Into Sylvie and Robert’s Relationship

The way Thompson looks at Asomugha, the ease in their scenes that makes you want to use the phrase “Love Scene” without the connotation of sex, it causes butterflies. For even when the two are at their worst, attempting to redefine sacrifice when it is really just fear of rejection, you yearn for these two to be together and set their egos aside.

And may I add, this is all done without the film being sexual. Sylvie’s Love focuses on the day-to-day love of going on dates, talking, and making time for that person who reenergizes your soul. Which, despite the circumstances the relationship started with, makes you constantly want to never mind how Sylvie and Robert’s relationship began, considering where it is going.

Low Points

It’s So Hard to Get Past How Much Cheating There Was

With that said, it is challenging to get past the fact Sylvie was knowingly cheating on Lacy, and Robert was well aware Sylvie was in a relationship. Mind you, is Lacy a saint? Yes and no. He didn’t beat Sylvie, didn’t cheat on her, his worst quality was wanting a housewife and not realizing Sylvie wanted more than that. But beyond that? Did he deserve to be cheated on for months, maybe years? No.

And even though Lacy plays a minor part in the film, his existence lurks in every cute moment and reminds you how tainted everything is. Making it so you’re not sure if Robert and Sylvie deserve to be happy together, even though you want it so.

On The Fence

A Lot Of The Supporting Characters Are Forgettable

This is a nearly two-hour movie, right? One where Robert is entrenched in the music industry, Sylvie in television, yet without my notes and the cast list in front of me, I’d have a hard time naming certain characters and saying they add much. Mind you, this isn’t to say anyone delivered a bad performance. More so, it felt like many of the supporting characters, despite often being touted with having lives of their own, didn’t have lives you wanted to invest in.

Yes, someone was being cheated on, others were dealing with racism, and of course, there is the up and downs of working in entertainment. Yet, even with only being a half hour separated from the film, while I have a minor grasp on who is who, I can’t say they left an impression. I’d honestly be surprised if I remember them by the time this is officially released on December 23rd.

Overall

Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Sylvie cheating on Lacy throughout the movie is what did it for me. In the preview, written just 15 minutes before watching the movie, there was a fear Lacy would become the man who didn’t appreciate his wife and thus was painted as someone we should never mind being cheated on. And damn if he wasn’t made into just that. And while we love Sylvie and Robert together, moving past all Sylvie did, and Robert knew about, feels impossible.

Add in supporting characters well played but leave a minimal lasting impact, and Sylvie’s Love ends up with the mixed label. For a love story, based on a sustained affair, lasting years? It’s just too messy to get past. No matter how cute the moments are being our two lead hussies.

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Sylvie’s Love Ending (Spoilers)

In the end, Sylvie and Robert do end up together. Mind you, there were many times it seemed like it wouldn’t happen. For example, when Robert goes off to Paris, with Sylvie secretly pregnant, that seemed like the end. Especially since she got married to Lacy, he forgave her for cheating, and while not happy, she could save face. After all, it was 1957.

But, in 1962, after 5 or so years of marriage and raising a child together, Robert shows up, and it begins all over again. Both know Sylvie is in a situation; neither seem to care, and so they have yet another affair. However, what makes things more complicated than them both being heifers is Robert’s career is starting to wind down in jazz music as Sylvie’s is picking up.

Robert learns his band leader owns the copyrights and has been making money hand over fist due to that, and having an affair with their manager. Thus leaving Robert with talent but a lack of means to make money off of that. Then with Sylvie, she has made her way up in the television world from being an assistant to a producer to a producer herself. And once Robert learns he has a kid, there is this desire to be a provider and take care of his family, but when he can’t do it, he leaves.

Mind you, under the guise of him going to Detroit, would be to work for Motown. The honest truth is, though, he was tricked into thinking there was an opportunity, and there wasn’t. So he ends up working in a factory. This information gets back to Sylvie, and while mad at him for leaving, this time knowing the truth, it seems she realizes the reason he left was the same reason she let him leave the first time – he didn’t want to hold her back.

You see, Sylvie was ready to uproot her life, start from the bottom, and Robert didn’t want that knowing he wouldn’t be the man he thought he’d be in Detroit. So rather than tell her what happened, he left with his tail between his legs. Yet, with the love she has for him, she decides to forgive his ego and allow his heart to return to hers.

Does Sylvie’s Love Have Sequel Potential?

It’s pretty self-contained, happy ending and all. So beyond Robert getting a second shot at music and becoming big, I’m not sure where this could go.

Summary

A Lot Of The Supporting Characters Are Forgettable - 74%
It's So Hard to Get Past How Much Cheating There Was - 66%
You So Badly Want To Just Lull Into Sylvie and Robert's Relationship - 87%

76%

while we love Sylvie and Robert together, moving past all Sylvie did, and Robert knew about, feels impossible.

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

One Comment

  1. Yours is the first review I’ve read to even point out the cheating. For me, it taints the whole story. Thank you.

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