Articles: Director Eugene Ashe beautifully combines romance and music in ‘Sylvie’s Love'




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By Samantha Ofole-Prince
Photos Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Sylvies Love director Eugene Ashe

Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl. What is about rom-coms that makes us all dewy-eyed and drawn to them?  Just ask writer/director Eugene Ashe whose latest film “Sylvie’s Love” explores that traditional genre.

“Romance films in general give us the chance to vicariously live through the character for a while and experience emotions that we may be uncomfortable feeling in real life,” says Ashe, a former Sony Music recording who brilliantly combines music and romance in this delightful drama.

A film, which is certain to draw Oscar winning violins, it stars Tessa Thompson as Sylvie and Nnamdi Asomugha as Robert, a mismatched pair who have a whirlwind romance in the summer of 1957.  For Ashe, it was a passion project written several years ago and an arduous one to bring to screen.

“It was a passion project in the sense that I stuck with it. I became passionate about getting it made, which is the only way it was going to get made,” Ashe admits. “Studios weren’t really sure there was an audience for this movie, so we had to go out and get the finances for it independently and make it independently, but that gave us a tremendous amount of freedom as we were able to make the movie we really wanted to make. Amazon saw it, liked it and picked it up.”

Nnamdi Asomugha as Robert Halloway and Tessa Thompson as Sylvie

A story which also explores the sordidness of love, it doesn’t shy away from the messiness of a very protracted breakup and the chemistry between Thompson and Asomugha (who each give terrific performances) is undeniable.

“At its core,” Ashe says, “it’s being able to let the love go if you feel like you are holding the other person back, which is for me the highest form of loving somebody. That's the final message there.”

Also starring Aja Naomi King, Alano Miller, Lance Reddick, Wendi McLendon Covey and Eva Longoria, it’s a well-made movie set in the 50s and '60s, which also delicately skims the racial issues of that era.

Tessa and Nnamdi

“It would have been naive to leave out what was happening during that time,” Ashe adds. "The microaggressions are just as important as the macroaggression and those things are still happening but in a subtle way. I didn't know at the time this movie was going to start being screened when voting and election was happening. I got lucky.”

With stylish and lovable characters, a lush score, and striking visuals, “Sylvie’s Love” is a charming and sentimental movie that wants viewers to cry at the end.

“Sylvie’s Love” releases on Amazon Prime Dec. 23, 2020

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