'The Photograph' review: Sandy Kenyon says film is lackluster at best

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- It may be Valentine's Day, but I can't show much love for "The Photograph."

It's a movie that has found favor with other critics, but I prefer a love story that's sexier than this one, which doesn't have enough heat.

"The Photograph" is the link between two stories which take place 30 years apart, and the movie cuts back and forth between them.

One tale is about a mother, Christina Eames, who leaves Louisiana to come to New York City to pursue her love of photography.

The other story is about her daughter Mae Morton, played by Issa Rae, who is now a curator at The Queens Museum, where she meets a reporter Michael Block, portrayed by Lakeith Stanfield.

The attraction between these two is pretty much instantaneous.

"I'm wondering if it's not too early in the night to kiss you," Block murmurs to her, before doing just that.

Morton replies, "It wasn't too early,"

Morton's mother has just died, and she is struggling to understand it with the help of Courtney B. Vance as the father who raised her.

Her grief doesn't prevent her from becoming involved with Block, especially when they spend time together in a fierce storm. But there is a whole lot more talking than action here, despite what you see in the trailer.

The film is rated PG-13, so it's all very polite. I was rooting for this pair just to let loose, but they never did.

"The Photograph" was well received by the audience at a screening I attended, and there was polite applause at the end.

Stanfield drew very admiring murmurs of approval throughout, but remember, we saw the movie for free, and I can't recommend that you pay to watch this one.

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