At first I had mixed feelings on Sylvie’s Love- I love the cast and music, but the beginning was so slow I ended up turning it off and returning to it a couple hours later. Glad I continued on as it turned out to be a great story. Recommend if you’re looking for a light, feel good period drama with a happy ending. 4 ½ stars.
The brief version (detailed version below): In the 1950/60s, Sylvie is finding herself and desires to work in television. She meets and falls in love with Robert, a musician who works at her father’s record store. The story unfolds as she navigates through life (job, family, love, etc). It’s a tale of love, heartache, love of music, doing things for one another thinking it’s for the best when it’s really not, finding where you fit in the world, empowerment, not listening to what others tell you to be or do because that’s the norm, friendship, family, loss, and more that I’m not doubt forgetting to mention. The cast is outstanding.
“Life is too short doing things you don’t absolutely love.”
“I’m tired of trying to be someone I’m not.”
“Do you remember that thing you told me about wanting me to be happy? Even if it meant you couldn’t be a part of my life? Well, what if I can’t be happy unless you’re part of it?”
Detailed review below, may contain some spoilers
The movie starts out in New York City 1962 with Sylvie (Thompson) waiting outside a concert hall and encounters Robert Halloway (Asomugha), a previous love. Time then rolls back to five years prior when they first met at her father’s record store. They get to know each other and fall in love despite her being engaged to another man by the name of Lacy. Robert is a talented saxophonist in the Dickie Brewster Quartet. The band gets an offer in Paris, Robert asks Sylvie to go with, but she declines. She is pregnant with his child, but doesn’t tell him (she believes he is the next John Coltrane and doesn’t want to force him to choose). Time skips to 1962 where Sylvia gets a job as a TV producer’s assistant, is married to Lacy, and has a daughter. The film then catches up to the opening scene of her and Robert outside the concert hall. They end up attending the performance together and rekindle their love for one night. Her father passes away but beforehand, he tells Robert he has a child. Sylvie makes the decision to separate from her husband and after this, Robert and her rekindle their love again. Wanting to provide for his family, Robert reaches out to those who offered him deals before and he is informed Jazz is dead. An old friend says he can get him a job with Motown in Detroit, so he travels there only to learn it was all guff. He returns to Sylvie and tells her he has to go to Detroit alone and he’s not a family man. She later learns the truth, realizes they are meant to be with each other and travels to him where they reconnect. As credits role, we see them together as a family doing various things and him playing her father’s saxophone on a TV show she is producing.
Parental guidance/trigger warnings: kissing, sex indicated multiple times (no nudity), pregnancy, discrimination/racism mentioned, drinking/smoking, divorce mentioned. I do not recall any swearing or slurs.