Southside With You (2016) Movie Script

( music playing )
- Lunch is almost up, honey.
- Okay.
- Thought it wasn't a date.
- It wasn't and it isn't.
Thought you said he was just
another smooth-talking brother.
You're going to an awful lot of trouble
for just another smooth-talker.
Mom, you know I try to look my best
no matter where I go
or who I'm going with.
It's fun to look pretty.
- He's a colleague.
- Okay, if you say so.
- Hello?
- Woman: Hi, Bar.
Aren't you supposed to be on your date?
I've got a few minutes
before I need to leave.
You're not checking up on me now,
are you, too?
Well, maybe I am, but it's a
grandmother's God-given right.
You have a bad habit of being late.
And if you're late to the first date,
I can promise you
there won't be a second.
I won't be late.
But I appreciate it. How's Gramps?
"How's Gramps?" He's Gramps!
He's got his bridge game
on Tuesdays and Thursdays,
golf on the weekends,
but when he's home and bored,
well, what can I say, Bar?
- He drives me up the wall.
- Well, thank you, baby.
- Of course.
So, where you going looking so raggedy?
Girl's got herself a date.
- Oh.
- It's not a date, Daddy.
He's a summer associate
I told y'all about,
the one from Harvard Law.
I mentioned I worked legal aid
and he invited me to a
community event at the Gardens.
- Huh.
- Yeah.
Because it doesn't get more
romantic than broken plumbing
and underfunded schools.
Tell me the young lady's name again.
Michelle Robinson.
She's my advisor at the firm, remember?
And tell me again what she looks like.
- Well, she's tall.
- Uh-huh. What else?
- What else would you like to know?
- Well, where's she from?
- Chicago.
- Uh-huh.
- Which part?
- The side that's predominantly black.
- Okay, so she's...?
- Yes, Toot.
Her skin is of the darker persuasion.
Good. So long as you're happy, Bar.
That's all that really matters.
Thanks, Toot.
Now, I gotta go or I will be late.
- Okay. Love you.
- I love you, too.
Mr. Robinson:
So, what's this boy's name?
Barack Obama.
- Barack-a what-a?
- He's half white.
Ugh. His father's from Kenya
and his mother's white.
So, why isn't this a date?
We work together. It's inappropriate.
Mm, maybe,
but you are spending the day with him.
Yeah. The meeting sounded interesting.
Mr. Robinson: Well,
even if it's not a date,
the least thing you could've done
is run a brush through your hair.
You look real nice, Meesh.
Thank you, Daddy.
This heat, this heat, this heat!
Hey, women wearing the freeze hairdo,
y'all doing that to keep cool
during the summer?
Sounds like a plan to me.
What are you doing to keep cool?
What are you doing to beat this heat?
Speaking of hot, hot, hot,
Janet's bringing the heat with the
number-one single in the country.
I miss it so much when I don't hear it.
I know you do, too.
So I'm playing it for me and for you.
Like an arrow going through my heart
That's the pain I feel
I feel whenever we're apart
Not to say that I'm in love with you
But who's to say that I'm not?
I just know that it feels wrong
When I'm away too long
It makes my body hot
So let me tell ya, baby
I'll tell your mama,
I'll tell your friends
I'll tell anyone
whose heart can comprehend
Send it in a letter, baby,
tell you on the phone
I'm not the kind of girl
who likes to be alone
- I miss you much
- Boy, oh, I miss you much
- I really miss you much
- M-I-S-S you much
- I miss you much, baby
- Boy, oh, I miss you much
- I really miss you much
- M-I-S-S you much
I'm rushing home
Just as soon as I can, uh!
I'm rushing home
to see your smiling face
And feel your warm embrace
It makes me feel so g-g-g good
So, I'll tell ya, baby
I'll tell your mama,
I'll tell your friends
I'll tell anyone whose heart
can comprehend, baby
Send it in a letter, baby,
tell you on the phone
I'm not the kind of girl
who likes to be alone
- I miss you much
- Boy, oh, I miss you much
- I really miss you much
- M-I-S...
- I miss you much
- M-I-S-S you much
- I miss you much
- Boy, oh, I miss you much
- I really miss you much...
I broke your heart
And I made you blue...
You're late.
- I was hoping you wouldn't notice.
- It's okay.
I expected it. You were late
for your first day of work.
You noticed that, too?
Yeah. I'm your advisor.
I'm supposed to notice.
- Do you live here alone?
- No.
No, this is my family's house.
My parents still live here and,
apparently, so do I.
- Huh.
- Should we?
Oh, uh, yeah. Car's down this way.
- All set?
- Mm-hmm.
I can tell you how I feel
about you night and day
I can tell you how I feel about you...
- You're on that account, right?
- Which account?
Bottle cap.
- Yeah.
- Everything cool?
Why? What did you hear?
Some of the juniors said you
weren't happy with the work.
- They're wrong.
- They weren't disparaging you.
They were impressed that an associate
stood up for herself the way you did.
It's not the work.
I mean, it is the work.
It's tedious, but that's to be expected.
Second-year associates
get the grunt work.
I can live with that.
I'll complain about it,
but I can live with it.
It's the trademark suit
that's got me fuming.
I take it you did not agree
with the judge's decision?
I completely agreed
with the judge's decision.
And I told Thompson six months ago
that we would lose if we tried
it like a trademark dispute.
I was basically silenced for
voicing a dissenting opinion.
Hmm, there's no real
contribution at our level.
There's only the illusion
of contribution.
Get ready, buster. You're on deck.
Are you sure it's the firm
you're frustrated with?
Shouldn't we be getting to the meeting?
Ah, we have some time.
It's not for another few hours.
- What?
- I thought we'd swing by the art center.
There's an Afro-centric exhibit
that's supposed to be...
Wait. What is this?
"What is this?" I don't know.
I mean, taken at face value, that's a
pretty existential question, Michelle.
What happened to the meeting?
It doesn't start till 4:00,
so I thought we'd see some paintings,
maybe grab a bite to eat.
We don't have to.
you seem like a really sweet guy,
but how many times do I have to tell you
we're not going out together?
Mm, well, Michelle,
thank you for saying that.
You seem like a real sweet girl.
But I have to correct you.
We are in fact out
and we are in fact together.
But not on a date.
- This is not a date.
- It doesn't have to be.
Barack, I don't want it to be.
You know, usually, women I meet
are willing to look past
my hideous appearance
and get to know the real me.
If I thought you were hideous,
I wouldn't have set you up with Gina.
Gina's very attractive.
Now, that's true.
Gina is very attractive.
This is not a date.
That's okay.
I'll... I'll go at your pace.
Barack, there's no pace to go at
because there's no anything to speak of.
I am your advisor at our law firm.
- It would be tacky.
- You keep saying that.
- And you keep ignoring it.
- For good reason.
You're my advisor insomuch as you introduce
me around at the beginning of the month
and you show me how to use
the coffee machine,
which, by the way,
I still can't figure out,
so some advisor.
Secondly, it's not our law firm.
It's your law firm.
I'm just here for the summer.
And while you're here,
it's inappropriate.
So, you think I'm attractive enough
- to set up with your prettiest friend?
- You think she's that pretty?
You and I share a lot
of the same interests.
I don't know that that's true.
- We both love Chicago.
- I get it.
You think we have a lot in common.
And maybe we do.
Maybe we can be friends.
But if you can't understand this,
then you can't understand me.
It's hard enough being a woman
at a giant corporate law firm.
For all the talk of
equality that goes around
and all those filled quotas,
I'm still surrounded by mostly men.
So, I gotta work just a little bit
harder to earn everyone's respect.
I gotta work a little bit
harder to be taken seriously.
Now add on that I'm black.
All that extra work I put in to
compensate for being a woman?
Being black erases that and
brings me back down to zero.
So, now I'm working double-time
just to be seen for who I am
and what I'm capable of.
Now, how's it gonna look
to a guy like Thompson
if I swoop in and start dating
the first cute black guy
who walks through the firm's doors?
The liberal-minded people
will think it's precious
and the closed-minded people
will think it's pathetic.
You think I'm cute?
I didn't say that.
- Some of the secretaries described you that way.
- Nice dodge.
Listen, listen, we're a few blocks away.
Why don't we go in
and check out the exhibit?
I'd still like us to go to
the meeting a little later.
It would mean a lot to me.
Okay, it's... it's not a date.
- Fine.
- Until you say it is.
That's Ernie Barnes.
You read that in the brochure?
No, no. I can spot a Barnes a mile away.
You know,
Barnes is a real interesting brother.
- Did you watch "Good Times"?
- Not a family staple.
There was a black family in Chicago
that didn't watch "Good Times"?
We were more of a "Brady Bunch,
"Dick Van Dyke" kind of family.
Those kids on Euclid Avenue, man,
I'm telling you they had it good.
Do you remember that?
- Yes, I remember the line.
The character's name was J.J.
He was kind of a screwup.
He would steal here and there,
couldn't read or write, talked jive.
You know,
just a bad TV stereotype, right?
But, see, as the show progressed,
J.J. developed
this interest in painting.
As it turned out,
he actually had a lot of talent.
But he didn't take it seriously.
Not until his dad,
who was this tough, blue-collar guy,
encouraged him to keep painting.
He saw it as his son's only
way out of the projects.
What did he paint?
Black ghetto life.
They were crisp,
exaggerated, very colorful.
His style was a lot like these.
That's because Ernie Barnes did
all the paintings for the show.
Michelle: My brother would love this.
- Barack: Craig, right?
- Yeah.
How did you know?
I may have overheard you talking
about him at the office.
- Stalker.
Yeah, but who's the bigger Looney Tune?
The stalker or the victim who willingly
goes to a museum with a stalker?
I'm more inclined to describe
this as a hostage situation.
I'm that bad, huh?
Oh, hush.
Craig shoot hoops?
He's decent.
Pick-up games? Office league?
He's an assistant coach
at Illinois Tech.
No kidding?
I assume he played ball at school?
Yeah, at Princeton,
then for a couple of years in the BBL.
He actually got drafted by the Sixers,
but they never played him.
I'd say "decent ballplayer"
is a gross understatement.
He was decent.
Great is NBA.
Uh, no. Good is college.
Great is your brother.
Superhuman is the NBA.
I think I came to my realization
when I missed varsity
my junior year of high school.
Cut class for a week after that.
- Why?
- I was hapa.
So, in everyone's eyes I shouldn't
have just made the team,
I should've been the best.
- What's hapa?
- Hawaiian or mixed.
Maybe they didn't
expect you to be the best.
Maybe you put that
expectation on yourself.
It makes me think of Gwendolyn Brooks.
Barack: "The Pool Players.
Seven at the Golden Shovel."
"We real cool.
We left school.
We lurk late.
We strike straight.
We sing sin.
We thin gin.
We jazz June.
Both: We die soon."
Barack: "Room Full A'Sistahs."
What do you like about this one?
I guess it reminds me
of our house on Sundays.
The boys would be upstairs
watching football
and the girls would be downstairs
singing around the piano.
- Do you sing?
- I play.
- Any good?
- I'm not bad.
My Aunt Robbie was a piano teacher,
so I started young.
- How old?
- Four.
That's young.
Not for my mom.
She started us early on everything...
French lessons.
- You speak French?
- Mm.
- Are you fluent?
- I know a few words.
I never would've taken you
for a Frenchie.
I mean, any other language but French.
It's just so sentimental.
What does that mean?
It means
"Things are not always as they appear."
Turkey on rye coming right up.
It's on me.
Okay, okay.
And now for the grand finale.
What, no good?
That was sweet of you,
but I don't like pie.
No, you're mistaken.
This is not a slice of pie.
This is a slice of heaven.
Who doesn't like pie?
I'm an ice cream kind of girl.
Oh, yeah?
Which flavor?
- Ugh.
- What, you don't like chocolate ice cream?
I don't like ice cream, period.
Now, that's weirder than not liking pie.
Not when you spend
a summer in high school
working at Baskin-Robbins, it's not.
I overdid it.
They have Baskin-Robbins in Hawaii?
You do know Hawaii is part of these
here United States, don't you?
It just seems so foreign.
Honolulu's pretty normal.
Played hoops all day.
Went to a good school.
Then again,
there's a lot about my high school years
I do not remember.
Let's just say a lot of it
got lost in a cloudy haze.
Because you smoked a lot of marijuana?
because I smoked a lot of marijuana.
I had a lot of growing up to do.
One time, when I was nine years old,
I go to this girl's birthday party
and I show up, and it's me and 20 girls.
I'm the only boy there.
When I asked them why,
they all just started laughing at me.
I remember running all the way home.
I was mortified.
What made you think of that?
I don't know. It just popped in my head.
Could never figure it out.
Hey, you're a smart lady.
Why were they laughing at me?
They probably had crushes on you.
I mean, everything's
backwards when you're little.
When a boy likes you,
he pulls your hair.
When you like a boy,
you kick him in the shins.
You do any shin kicking back in the day?
If you were on the playground and
you were brown and cute, watch out.
You, uh,
doing any shin kicking these days?
Are you inquiring
about my personal life?
I might be.
- Well, the answer is no.
- Hmm.
Tell me more about your
grade school Casanova years.
No, no.
I couldn't have been less popular.
The kids in Indonesia used to throw me
in the swamp and call me Blackberry.
I lived in Jakarta for a few years.
I'm not kidding.
We had crocodiles in the backyard.
But... but...
but why were you living there?
I mean, how did you end up there?
Lolo, my mother's ex-husband,
was from there
and went back for work.
We went with him.
But where was your dad?
He was back in Kenya.
And you didn't wanna live with him?
It wasn't an option.
Anyway, I didn't have to suffer
at the hands of my Indonesian
tormentors for long.
I moved back to Hawaii when I was 10.
My mother wanted me
to get a better education.
Did you?
I don't know.
How would you rate
my level of education?
You're like that jive-talking
stereotype from "Good Times."
So, what about you?
What about me?
you're Ivy League through and through.
Craig got the natural smarts.
I just worked my butt off.
I'm sure your mother made sure of that.
She never had to.
Education was always
priority number one.
My dad would stand for nothing less,
and there was no way Craig and
I were gonna disappoint him.
What's he like?
He's the greatest man in the world.
He told us from day one
education was the key to our happiness
and he didn't let us forget it.
What's he do for a living?
Operations engineer
for the water department.
Basically, he fixes the boilers.
He's been there since '68.
That must be where you get
your work ethic.
You don't know the half of it.
Well, tell me, then.
You're asking a lot of questions.
You don't have to answer them, Michelle.
Can you keep what's said
outside the office
outside the office?
Michelle, I've been trying
to get you outside the
office for a month now.
I'm serious.
Yes. Absolutely.
My dad has MS.
That why you live at home?
It's better to be there and to help out.
He's on crutches now.
Still gets himself to work every day.
You know, they are lucky
to have a daughter like you.
I'm lucky to have parents like them.
Is your mother still alive?
Hmm, oh, yeah.
Still in Jakarta.
She's a wonderful lady.
- But you don't see her much?
- Nah, she has her own life.
But she's brilliant, warm.
Truly wonderful.
- And she's white?
- Snow white.
Born in Wichita, Kansas.
- You were born in '60?
- '61.
A white woman and a black man
getting married
and having a kid back then.
They were ahead of their time.
You want the God's honest
truth about my folks?
- Sure.
- Okay.
My mother thought Harry Belafonte
was the most handsome man
on the face of the planet.
Yeah, I'd say chocolate was
her favorite flavor, too.
No, really, I think their
attraction was that simple.
My father looked like Nat King Cole
and my mother looked like Patsy Cline.
Man: Hey!
Not bad at all, Miss Robinson.
- Those drummers were incredible.
- Yeah, they were.
- I wonder if they were African.
- Why?
Well, it can be a ritual.
I was part of one while visiting
my family's village in Kenya.
- What were the rituals for?
- Eh, prayer, mostly.
Do you believe in God?
You like to go straight for the jugular,
don't you?
- You have a real nice jugular. Real defined, real sexy.
- Watch it, now.
Growing up,
we went to church on Sundays,
but I don't know.
I believe in some sort
of guiding spirit.
But I also think God helps
those who help themselves.
- I think I saw that on a bumper sticker somewhere.
- That's how you know it's good.
And your religious proclivities?
Let's just say I'm still evolving.
- What were you raised?
- Nothing, really.
My mom didn't associate
with any one religion.
And your father? Was he like you?
About the only thing
my father and I had in common
was that we both went to Harvard.
The only difference is
he got kicked out.
You still got two years.
Think that's enough time for me
to develop a drinking problem
and burn through all my student loans?
You don't like talking about him.
- Well, there isn't much to say, unfortunately.
- That can't be true.
It is true.
- His life is incomplete... every imaginable way.
He married my mother,
they had me, he left.
Went to Harvard, got kicked out,
never got his PhD.
Got a job with the Kenyan government,
got fired,
never found a stable job again.
Had a few too many drinks
at a bar one night,
got behind the wheel,
never made it home.
He died when he was 46.
His life was incomplete.
Even his tombstone is blank.
- No one bothered to have it engraved.
- No one bothered?
All that family over there?
No one had the money.
You'll do it.
When you have the money,
you'll go back there
and have his name engraved.
You think you know me well
enough to make that prediction?
But I am a pretty hopeful person,
so I'll just say I hope you do it.
We should probably get to the meeting.
Hey, young world
- The world is yours
- Hey, young world
- The world is yours
- Young world, young world
- The world is yours
- Young world
This rap here
It may cause concern, it's...
...Denby of "New York Magazine"
thinks Spike Lee's new picture's
gonna cause them black folk to riot,
but Chicago's native son,
Roger Ebert, calls it a masterpiece.
Have you seen it? Who's seen it?
What's the good word? You writing yet?
Hit the phones and let me know.
And if you haven't checked it out yet,
"Do the Right Thing" and see it now!
Dying to see this movie.
Sounds interesting enough.
Blick, Thompson, and Cohen were
talking about it in the office.
And Thompson said the film might
be racist towards white people.
No, he didn't.
He didn't mean anything by it.
He's a little out of touch, that's all.
I'm just tired of being
two different people.
I played that game at Princeton
and I played it again at Harvard.
There were white kids at school
who would talk to me in class,
but if I saw them out on the quad
and they were with their other friends,
they would walk right past me
without so much as a nod.
Now, obviously,
the firm is not like that,
but sometimes when I'm leaving
Southside in the morning,
headed for the Loop, I feel like
I'm leaving Planet Black
and landing on Planet White.
Come on.
You got wooed just like me.
You got wined and dined.
You saw the corporate culture,
the racial culture.
You knew the score
and you still said yes.
Are you sure it's the firm
you're frustrated with?
That's the second time
you asked me that question.
It's the second time
you haven't answered it.
What are you suggesting?
Take the bottle cap case as an example.
Once you made your point,
why bother pressing further?
To try and get through to Thompson.
Come on, you knew you wouldn't.
Like you said,
you're a second-year associate.
Thompson wants you doing research,
interfacing with the clients,
preparing his arguments...
- the grunt work, right?
- Right.
But if I don't speak up,
what's the alternative?
Shut my mouth and sit
there looking pretty?
First of all,
you always sit there looking pretty.
Second of all,
I'm not suggesting you silence yourself.
I'm just wondering why you chose
to work at a corporate firm
where you knew your silence
would be expected.
And, really, what I'm wondering is why
you're wasting the fight you have inside you
on battles you can't win and
issues you don't care about.
Excuse me?
You think because we spend
one afternoon together
and you tried to buy me a sandwich,
you're entitled to pass judgment
on the choices I made in my life?
You think I'm wasting my life.
Now, I never used those words.
You didn't have to use those words.
You used other ones,
and they stung just as much.
If you really loved what you were doing,
would you be bothered by what I said?
You'd tell me to go screw myself
and you'd go on your merry
way making tons of cash
and doing trademark law
for the rest of your life.
And how do you know that's not
exactly what I plan to do?
Because you spent two years of
law school in Gannett House
working pro bono cases
for poor single moms.
And my guess is that it kills you
to know you can't put the
same passion and intelligence
towards cases that
actually mean something.
You're more than welcome
to pass judgment on your own father.
You know what? You're more than
welcome to pass judgment on me.
But quite frankly,
it sounds like you know me about
as little as you knew him.
- Michelle...
- And the biggest offense
is this is coming from a guy
who quit community
organizing for Harvard Law
only to take a summer position
at the same corporate firm
he's railing against.
Now that is the height of hypocrisy.
I apologize. I meant no offense.
Watch it. Hey, watch it!
Woman: Barack!
Come in!
- Hello!
- So happy to see you guys.
Looks like we got a full house today.
Well, everyone heard you was coming,
We all wanted to get a look at
our Harvard man all grown up.
Does a year and a half change a man?
Woman: No,
but apparently it gets you a lady.
- Finally, a sister!
- Woman #2: Mm-hmm!
How you doing, sweetie?
My name's Bernadette.
- Oh, Michelle. Very nice to meet you.
- Hey, girl.
- I'm Janice.
- Hi.
We was your boyfriend's ladies while
he was working here in the Gardens.
- Oh, we're not...
- Platonic ladies, child.
- Hey.
- Don't go giving her any ideas.
We did everything together
except the sexy stuff.
Mm. Now this is a real man
you got yourself here.
- Bernadette: Mm-hmm...
- Just going right over there.
- Woman: Hi!
- Tommy, my man.
- Always so good to see you.
- Janice: Yo, Rafiqa!
This Barack's woman, Michelle.
Mm, he done well for himself.
- Welcome!
- Janice, we're not together.
- You saying this Barack's girl?
- No, Kyle, this Barack's woman.
- Michelle.
- Y'all married and shit?
Kyle, watch your mouth.
Your ass in church.
- Y'all married?
- No.
We're not together at all.
Let me tell you a little
something about Barack.
My son Lawan wanted to be in the navy
since he was playing
with toy boats in the tub.
But growing up in the Gardens, whoo!
Little by little,
the place was getting to him.
And he was starting to get the same ideas
as every other young Negro around here,
thinking there ain't no place
for them outside these walls.
And even if there was, ain't no way out.
Well, then comes Barack,
and every time he come by
the house to talk business,
he sets aside a little time
to talk with my Lawan
about navy boats.
Now, I don't even know how
Barack knew about navy boats,
and he could've been making up names,
for all I know.
The USS this and the USS that.
It didn't matter.
He kept Lawan interested.
He told my boy that he could be anything
if he worked hard enough.
You see, he didn't have
a father to tell him that.
And you know what?
- He made it out.
My son is sailing across the seas
on the USS Dakota.
Bernadette: He looking all fly and
professional in his military uniform.
Hands off, girl.
That's my boy you're talking about.
Tommy: All right, afternoon, everybody.
- Crowd: Good afternoon!
- Afternoon. Right, right, right.
Okay, now, today, you know we're here
to discuss the community center.
What community center?
- Look, I know.
I know the city's decision was
a disappointment, all right?
Lord, Tommy.
It was more than a disappointment.
It was six months
of our lives down the drain.
Okay, hold on. Everybody, just hold on.
It was a disappointment.
But it wasn't all bad.
See, now, we got ourselves not one,
not two, but three foundations
to fund our community center
programs when the time is right.
And I got that in writing.
Now, how in God's name are they supposed
to fund our community center programs
when we ain't got no community center?
All: That's right!
Well, that's the dilemma
we're here today to solve.
Now, what we have to do first
is take a look at
why the city council said no.
Well, what difference does it make?
They say no to everything we ask for.
Now, now,
that's just not always true, Curtis.
we got that job center up and running.
We got people's apartments on hold
for them while they rehabbing.
Look, all I know is this...
Senator Torrance
got himself a state grant
to build a church
that he's gonna preach in
and Alderman Sayid helped him get it.
Crowd: Tell him, tell him! Tell him!
Meanwhile, my little girls can't
go but a mile up the road to play
for all the gangs
running around the Gardens,
pushing they drugs,
littering they garbage,
shooting they guns like this
is the Wild West or something.
Shoot, our kids can't even go
play in they friends' house
across the street at the gates.
- Man: Nope.
- The senator got himself a church.
Our kids got themselves the shaft.
All: That's right!
Okay, okay, okay, okay,
that's a lot of...
that's a lot of issues to address,
- and I know better than anyone else.
- Man: Mm!
Come on, now, I've devoted my
life to helping this community,
- but we got to stay focused.
- Woman: That's right.
we got to take our anger and channel it
towards the goals we setting.
- Right now, that's the community center.
- Woman: Tell them, Tommy.
Now, you know from past
experiences we got things done
because we honed in on one issue,
we pressed, we squeezed,
and we screamed until
somebody finally listened.
It's taking too long.
We tired of screaming!
- Well, then ain't nothing gonna change.
- Well, maybe it can't!
- Huh?
- No way.
Well, look, I disagree.
And I'm sure our guest here disagrees,
because I seem to recall
when he was standing here
in my position by this podium
a year and a half ago,
y'all got something done.
I seem to recall with his guidance,
your patience and persistence,
y'all got that asbestos
problem cleared up.
- Woman: That's true.
- Got them toilets fixed.
The pipes cleaned.
Now, I know when times were tough,
this brother right here
had a lot of motivational words for us,
and I'm gonna ask him to come
up and say a few right now,
'cause I'ma tell you something.
We might be down for the count...
but we ain't out.
Brother Barack.
- Why don't you come on up?
- It's all you.
- Thanks, bro. Thank you.
- All right.
- Thank you.
You know, it's good to be back.
It's good to see all of you.
I missed that musty smell up here.
Looks like Pastor Mike hasn't gotten
around to filling in that hole in the roof.
Think we're gonna have to organize a
meeting just to get that leak fixed.
Woman: Never.
But listen.
I, um... I feel your pain.
I do. It's...
it's a part of me now, that pain.
it hits me like a heart attack
hundreds of miles away in Cambridge,
Now, I could be listening
to a lecture in class
or studying in the library
or watching a movie
or talking to a friend.
- I think of all of you.
- Woman: Mmm.
I may have gone on to a
different life at Harvard,
but you know what I realized?
- I never left the Gardens.
- Crowd: That's right.
Now, Tommy deserves some credit here,
Our fight with the city
council two years ago
was proof that these
victories do not come easy
and they don't come big.
They are few and far between.
But you gotta use them
like building blocks.
You know, one by one,
one on top of the other,
and little by little,
you got yourself a building.
And that's exactly
what you need in this case
is a building for your community center.
Now, I feel your disappointment.
But the truth is
you're in a good position right now.
Woman: That's why we ain't
got no community center!
All right, all right, all right.
Tommy got funding pledges.
That's real. That's money down the
line and that's hard to secure.
Now, I know it's not the whole package,
but think about it.
Now all you need is a building.
You're halfway there.
The council said no to the building,
but that was before
you had funding pledges
secured with the help
of Brother Tommy here.
So, now when you remount your campaign,
you have something
to bring to the table.
You're contributing.
And the folks downtown who
like to see us contributing,
makes them feel like the money they
give you is gonna be put to good use.
They just wanna know that you care.
And Tommy's right when he says we need
to take a look at why they said no.
Not because it's the right decision,
but because you gotta understand
where they're coming from.
You've gotta understand the city's
motivations, its self-interest
in order to align them with your own.
We turn self-interest
into mutual interest.
All right,
so let's give the council members
the benefit of the doubt for a moment.
Let's say they want you
to have your community center.
- Mm.
- Barack: Okay, okay.
But let's say for a moment that we
got some good folks on that council
and they'd like to see your kids
have a place to go after school.
- Woman: Yeah, right.
- Barack: Now, I believe there probably are a few.
So, if we've got some
good-hearted folks there...
why can't they get your
funding request approved?
- Getting paid to say no.
- Barack: Okay, Curtis.
I hear you, I hear you. Anyone else?
- Don't care enough.
- All right.
Any other ideas?
Maybe they don't think they can.
That's what I'm thinking, Kyle.
I don't think they believe
they can get it done
even if they wanted to.
They know developers don't
wanna build in the Gardens.
There's nothing in it for them.
No stores, no economy.
These council members don't
necessarily want the answer to be no.
They just believe it will be.
Curtis: So,
what are you proposing, Barack?
That we build the damn thing ourselves?
Almost. Almost, Curtis.
Tommy and I have been discussing this,
and we both think you might wanna
consider changing the goal slightly.
Refocus your efforts on
obtaining a land designation.
Now, if you control the land,
you can cut a deal with one developer
to build everything in the area
on the condition that one of the
buildings be the community center.
Now, that's more jobs,
more stores,
and a community center
for your children.
They just gonna say no like
they say no to everything else!
Now, we gotta stop thinking the word
"no" is the end of the line, Curtis.
"No" is just a word.
You flip those letters around,
you get an entirely different word.
- "On."
- That's right.
- As in carry on.
- Yeah, all right.
Say it with me, now.
- Carry on.
- Crowd: Carry on.
- They say "no," we say...
- Crowd: "Carry on."
- They say "no," we say...
- Crowd: "Carry on!"
Carry on, carry on.
That's it. There you go.
You know, Harold Washington...
- Woman: My man.
- Yeah.
Harold Washington was one of
the reasons I moved to Chicago.
Woman: Hmm, was he, now?
When I first came here,
every barber shop
and chicken shack on the Southside
had a squeaky-clean picture of him hanging
up on the wall for everyone to see.
- Man: He's right about that.
- Woman: They all do.
Chicago's first black mayor.
- He was our mayor.
- Woman: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
- Yeah.
- But even Mayor Washington disappointed in some respects.
He had to face the great
truth of our country...
that it's not easy to get things done.
You know, the founders
made it that way on purpose.
They made it messy...
so that no one law,
no one government, no one man,
could decide the fate
of everything and everyone.
In very simple terms,
we got a heck of a lot
of different people
with a heck of a lot
of different agendas.
But I also believe that people,
most people,
are basically,
at their core, good people.
So, if at first we don't
understand their agenda,
city council, the aldermen,
and the state senator...
we have to try our hardest
to understand who they are
and what they need.
We have to let go of judgment.
That's a lesson...
I learned today from a friend.
No matter what we think about someone...
we never truly know what it's
like to walk in their shoes.
But we have to try.
You know, whether it's a colleague,
a family member,
or a particular opponent...
well, especially our opponents.
Because where their needs
align with our needs...
is where things get done.
Now, that's America.
Just a bunch of different states.
States of land,
states of mind,
states of people.
And it's up to us, all of us,
to keep all those different states...
Thanks for inviting me.
It's been a while since I've had
that kind of connection
to real-life struggle.
Me, too.
In high school,
my typing teacher gave me an A-.
I wrote her a letter every day
until she changed it to an A.
I celebrated all day long.
But that night, I couldn't sleep.
I kept asking myself
over and over again,
"Did I even deserve the A?"
Sometimes, I forget why I'm fighting.
Or even that I am fighting.
I didn't know I was wrestling
with myself about the firm.
I understand that.
You think you're real smooth, don't you?
Did you know you were speaking today?
Well, not exactly.
I knew there was a decent chance, yeah.
Pretty good setting to bring a girl.
Surrounded by people who adore you,
people who might tell this
girl heart-tugging stories
about how you inspired their
sons to join the navy.
And an inspirational speech that
had everybody in awe, Mr. Obama.
Including you?
It wasn't bad.
You sounded a little professorial.
But you definitely have a
knack for making speeches.
Thank you.
You know, that being said,
it didn't hurt to take you
there on our first date.
- Our first what?
- You heard me.
You must have misspoken,
because according to you,
this isn't a date until I say so.
You know, if you don't wanna spend
any more time with me today,
I'll respect it.
I won't like it,
but I'll respect your wishes.
But if you wanna keep hanging,
let's call it a date
and move on to the next event.
- Next event?
- Drinks and a movie.
You think you're real smooth.
And real cute.
I don't know about the cute part.
I mean, they did look good on Dumbo.
- I'd rather be Dumbo than the Wicked Queen.
- Wicked Queen?
you can't just say any old wicked queen.
From which movie?
Why can't nobody love me
Like my baby does?
Young girl turned out to be
Two times, twice the woman
That I thought she was...
Michelle: Don't even come at me
with that "Innervisions" nonsense.
Barack: It's a better album all around.
Michelle: "You and I,"
"Sunshine of My Life," "Superstition."
- Barack: All great songs.
- His best.
Huh, not better than "Higher Ground."
"Talking Book"
was the first album I ever heard.
And if it was the last,
I'd be set for life.
- That's how brilliant it is.
- Mm-mm.
Well, at least we can agree
that Stevie is the best.
- Mm.
- At least we can start from there.
so what about that moment in the church
before the meeting?
I think Bernadette said it
about you finally dating a sister.
Who knows with those two?
- They love to gossip.
- Is it true?
- Is what true?
- That you never date black women?
- Not true.
- But you did date white women.
I've dated a couple white women, yes.
Which do you prefer?
Come on, buster.
Now it's your turn to ante up.
My girlfriend at Columbia was white.
It was pretty serious.
What was her name?
How long were you with Jennifer?
A little over two years.
Columbia was a...
strange time in my life.
I was reading a lot, figuring stuff out.
I had very few friends.
- Except for Jennifer.
- Exactly.
She was lovely.
She really was.
She was very caring.
Kept me company when I was lonely.
We fell into that private little
universe couples can fall into
where you develop your own kind of
language and customs, you know?
I've never had that with anyone
other than my own family.
It's nice.
when we went to visit her family,
they were incredibly gracious to me.
Very nice, open-minded people.
But I looked around at all
the pictures on the walls,
all the white faces,
and I knew I couldn't spend
any more of my life
living as an outsider.
Does that answer your question?
So, why did you come to Chicago?
To try and make a difference.
Thought I would, too.
Thought maybe I'd work civil cases.
Help women, empower them.
Being at that meeting today
aroused some of those old dreams.
Lit some kind of fire.
But those last couple years,
the corporate firms
descend upon the campus
like a pack of wolves.
And they're so appealing.
I wanted to be in a position
to pay off my loans,
pay my folks back,
live a little,
enjoy life.
There's nothing wrong with that.
There's nothing wrong
with it until there is.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
I just feel like something
else is pulling at me.
I wonder if I can write books
or hold a position of
influence in civil rights.
- Politics?
- Maybe.
I just want to do more.
Yeah, so do I.
And maybe just wanting it
is enough for now.
Whatever I end up doing,
I take comfort in knowing I can't
do much worse than my dad did.
That doesn't sound like the same guy
who gave that fancy speech earlier,
the one who talked about
letting go of judgment.
I've noticed how you talk
about your father.
That's such an angry way
to live your life...
judging him,
living your life against his.
You're still fighting him,
but he's not here anymore.
You said earlier you felt
his life was incomplete.
Every father's life is incomplete.
That's why they have sons...
to finish what they started.
You know, my grandfather
was not a very generous man.
He could have helped
my dad through college,
but he was so terrified
of getting into debt,
he refused to lend him any money.
So my dad had to drop out of school
after a year.
Took a while,
but he forgave my grandfather.
Then he got his job with the city...
and he has spent the rest of his life
working in that boiler room,
making sure not to do to his kids
what his father did to him.
You have to forgive your father...
so your anger doesn't turn you into him.
You have to forgive him...
so you can be better than him.
That's what he would want.
Man: Get out of the way, man!
Cop: Break it up, break it up!
Get off of him!
Get off, man! Get out of the way!
Man: Let me through! Let me through!
Let me through! Get off me, get off me!
Get his arm! Get his arm!
- Cop #2: Gary, that's enough.
- Gary: Shut up.
Gary, that's enough, man!
- Cop #2: Gary, that's enough!
- Gary: Shut up!
Man: Radio Raheem! Radio Raheem!
- No!
- Radio!
Radio Raheem! Radio Raheem!
Man in theater: Yeah!
Michelle: What's the matter?
Be careful! I feel a riot coming on.
- I'm gonna use the restroom.
- Okay.
Woman: No, I don't wanna see it.
Man: Michelle?
It is you.
Your height gave you away.
Avery, what are you doing here?
Uh, picking up groceries.
What do you think?
We came to the movies.
- You did?
- Yeah.
We partners do that from time to time.
And, uh...
and on occasion,
we bring along our wives.
Laura, this is Michelle Robinson,
one of our more tenacious associates.
Michelle, this is my wife, Laura.
So pleased to make your acquaintance.
Likewise, likewise.
I think Avery mentions you
at least a dozen times a day.
Are you here alone?
Me? Um, I'm...
with a friend.
I have to go.
What did you think of the film?
What did I think? I liked it.
Well, all the hoopla leading up to it,
I had to see for myself.
Oh, what did you think?
though the ending was puzzling
and more than a little infuriating.
Ha! Barack!
- Avery.
- Wow!
Having a Sidley Austin reunion, here.
We just came from a community meeting
that we attended
as colleagues and friends,
and just thought it might be a good
idea to stop and see the movie,
since it's something
everybody was talking about.
Um, thank you for that
illuminating explanation.
this is one of our summer associates,
a very talented young man,
Barack Obama.
Very pleased to make your acquaintance.
Pleasure's all mine.
So, you got around to seeing the movie,
I take it.
Yes, yes, we did.
In fact,
I was just explaining to Michelle
how angry that ending made me.
Why would the deliveryman
have thrown the trash can
through his employer's window?
He must have known his actions
would cause the mob to riot.
It seemed totally irrational.
Let me put it to you another way, Avery.
I'm all ears.
If Mookie hadn't thrown the trash can,
maybe the crowd would have
turned on Sal and his sons.
instead of the store being destroyed,
they might be dead.
And Mookie knew the insurance
would cover the damage to the store.
He was saving Sal's life.
I never would have considered
that perspective, Barack.
See, that's why we need
a guy like you full-time.
make sure to treat him real good.
We want him sticking around.
We'll see you both Monday.
- Good night.
- Good night.
You know I only said that
to make Avery feel better.
Mookie threw that trash can
because he was fucking angry.
What a coincidence seeing him here.
That's really wild.
It wasn't a coincidence.
It was cosmic justice.
I knew damn well going out with you
was the wrong thing to do...
pun intended...
and don't even try to
convince me otherwise, Barack,
because there's nothing you can say.
I can't tell you that
Avery doesn't give a hoot
about seeing the two of us out?
"Make sure to treat him real good."
That was not okay, Barack.
By any measure.
It was smarmy.
You don't think that was
laced with anything?
You don't think he meant
anything by that?
Maybe he did. So, what?
First thing Monday morning
he's gonna spread
this juicy little anecdote
around the office like wildfire.
You know,
none of this would have happened
if you had just respected
the boundaries I laid out,
but you refused.
You didn't respect
our working relationship.
And now that's all there's going to be.
I don't want any...
It's pretty good.
You want some?
What goes underneath your armor
Underneath your clothes?
Do you know?
Let's find out together
Let's find what we're looking for
We'll explore
Leave your house of mirrors
Hear me out
Fear no consequence
Forget your doubts
I don't know where the road leads
You don't know if I'll break your heart
We don't know how the winds will blow
And we won't know
We won't go
Unless we start
Ooh, ooh, start
Fall into the sea
Of possibility
And hope
We're letting go
Float away with me
Until we can't see any coast
That we know
Hold on tight until we become one
Find our island
Underneath the sun
I don't know where the road leads
You don't know if I'll break your heart
And we don't know
how the winds will blow
And we won't know
We won't go
Unless we start
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Start, yeah
All the love inside us
All you want to give
Only happens if we let it live
And I don't know where the road leads
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
You don't know if I'll break your heart
We don't know how the winds will blow
And we won't know
We won't go
Unless we start
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Start, yeah
Oh, unless we start
Oh, let's start
Unless we start.