Each year when Valentine’s Day rolls around the movie studios see fit to release at least one movie that will give couples an option at the multiplex. If nothing else, it’s a good excuse for the men to stop ignoring their wives and girlfriends for at least one day of the year and pretend that their relationship means more to them than watching televised sporting events, wasting time on social media or playing video games.

In years past the pickings have been slim, especially when one considers the Fifty Shades trilogy and how they were all the rage at one point in time. This in spite of the fact that the two leads in those films had about as much chemistry as an Amish woman and an Elvis Presley impersonator. Those days are behind us and I suppose we can be thankful for small favors in terms of what’s being offered up this year with The Photograph. It’s a competently made film that, even if it stretches credibility to almost the breaking point and doesn’t really offer much of a takeaway, is pleasing enough to the senses. It’s artfully photographed, offers two actors with some semblance of a connection and inspired needle drops on the soundtrack that are easy on the ear at the very least. Yes, ladies, if you’re in desperate need of a night on the town with your fella you could do worse. In years past you probably did.

LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae in The Photograph

The Photograph is one of those films, much like the majority of the novels penned by the king of this sort of thing, Nicholas Sparks, that features simultaneous plot lines unfolding during the course of the film. There’s one in the present and one in the past and both involve characters choosing between career and love. Let’s just say one does and one doesn’t but I’ll leave that for you to discover.

Mae Morton (Issa Rae) is the daughter of legendary photographer, Christina Eames (Chante Adams). Christina has recently died and has left a safety deposit box for her daughter that will explain her life choices and many secrets of her early life. Among these souvenirs is a photograph that also catches the eye of up and coming reporter, Michael Block (LaKeith Stanfield). Michael and Mae eventually become romantically entangled while unraveling both secrets from the past and attempting to sort out what comes next. Therein lies the plot.

Writer-director Stella Meghie guides the actors and the story to the finish line in generally engaging fashion. One can admire her efforts even if it’s likely to be forgotten long before the next Valentine’s Day rolls around and most wives are wondering why they’ve been ignored for the last 364 days.

The Photograph is playing everywhere.

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