The Photograph

There is no specific photograph of note involved in the plot of The Photograph. That still isn’t the weirdest thing about this perfectly lighthearted drama following two romances set in the ’80s and (probably) 2019. For example, The Photograph is the biggest Wealth Porn extravaganza to come along since Crazy Rich Asians. Modern-day reporter Michael (played by LaKeith Stanfield) calmly says “Nice place” as his new love interest Mae (Issa Rae) welcomes him into a Manhattan apartment that’s worth about $3 million. In his defense, Michael’s brother – Lil Rel Howery as a professional Kevin Hart impersonator – has a townhouse costing closer to $5 million. Michael and Mae have met after he contacts the museum curator about her mother’s photography career, just a few days after Mae’s mother has died. The story then takes place over the additional 27 days needed by Mae to finish reading a 12-page letter from her deceased mother which recalls a sad love affair in Louisiana. This leads to a revelation which is already noted in the film’s opening minutes. The guy who composed the soundtrack, however, must have forgotten that part. Chanté Adams (as dead photographer Christina Eames) seems to have forgotten she’s playing a Louisiana native, but remembers to use a Southern accent for the big scene where she impresses a fancy NYC art figure. The character also spends the entire movie bemoaning her restless ways after having lived in two different places during her entire life. Get past those distractions, though, and writer/director Stella Meghie has put together a charmingly romantic release for the Valentine’s Day weekend. But there’s no way an Al Green LP from 1972 would sound so mint.