Home Explainers Sylvie's Love 2020 Review, Synopsis And Ending, Explained


Sylvie’s Love 2020 Review, Synopsis And Ending, Explained

Sylvie’s Love Review

You So Badly Want To Just Lull Into Sylvie and Robert’s Relationship

In Sylvie’s Love, the way Thompson looks at Asomugha, the ease in their chemistry that makes you want to use the phrase “Love Scene” without any sexual notion; it causes butterflies. For even when the two are at their worst; attempting to make sacrifices when it is really just fear of rejection, you long for these two to reunite and set their egos aside.


And may I add, this is all done without any sexual aspects. Sylvie’s Love concentrates on the current love of going on dates, talking, and making time for that person who refreshes your soul. Which, despite the situations the relationship began with, makes you ceaselessly want to never mind how Sylvie and Robert’s relationship began, considering where it is going.

It’s So Hard to Get Past How Much Cheating There Was

With that said, it is difficult to get past the fact Sylvie was intentionally cheating on Lacy. Also, Robert knew Sylvie was in a relationship. Mind you, is Lacy a saint? Yes and no. He didn’t beat Sylvie, didn’t cheat on her, his losing part was desiring for a housewife and not accepting Sylvie aimed for more than that. But beyond that? Did he deserve to be cheated on for months, maybe years? No.

Sylvie’s Love stars Tessa Thompson and Nnamdi Asomugha. Image: Roger Ebert

And even though Lacy plays a smaller part in the film, his presence lurks in every cute moment and makes you recall how tainted everything is. Making it so you’re unsure if Robert and Sylvie deserve to be happy together, even though you want it so.


Sylvie cheating on Lacy throughout the movie is the disappointing part. There was a fear Lacy would become the man who didn’t value his wife and thus was framed as someone we should never mind being cheated on. And imagine if he wasn’t made into just that. And while we adore Sylvie and Robert together, going through all Sylvie did, and Robert knew about, feels impossible.

Additionally, supporting characters also play well but leave a much smaller lasting impact, and Sylvie’s Love ends up with the mixed label. For a love story, based on a profound affair, lasting years? It’s just too messy to get past. No matter how cute the moments are being our two lead hussies.

Sylvie’s Love Plot Synopsis

In 1957’s Harlem, Sylvie Parker (Tessa Thompson) stays a lot of time at her father’s record store, listening to music and dreaming of becoming a television producer. One day, gifted saxophonist Robert Halloway (Nnamdi Asomugha) enters in the shop for buying the newest offering from Thelonious Monk. His real reason is to get a chance to talk to the pretty girl he has looked over through the store windows. Robert realizes that she is already engaged.

Disheartened but still not fully discouraged, Robert takes a job at the store. He and Sylvie start spending more and more time together, relating over their shared love for music. It begins purely and genuinely as a platonic relationship, changing into a summer fling, complete with stolen kisses, dancing under a streetlight, and stargazing from a rooftop. And after not too long, it almost inevitably becomes something intensely deeper. As it is common in urban fairy tales like this, the lovers have to separate because their immediate fates lie elsewhere.


Robert visits Paris with his band, unaware that Sylvie is pregnant with their child. After Lacy (Alano Miller), Sylvie’s fiancé, comes back from the Korean War, he takes her as she is. They marry and start parenting their daughter together. Five years after Robert and Sylvie’s encounter each other again. In between the flood of emotions and wistful musings, they both learn that they have never moved on from each other. Sylvie then makes a drastic decision, choosing to live for herself for the first time in her life.

She chooses love over security and passion over comfort. She parts ways with Lacy and reconciles with Robert, later introducing him to their daughter. At this point, the film suddenly pivots. Ashe doesn’t conclude his movie with a typical happily ever after. Instead, he compels his protagonists to face the realities of their time and puts their love through a metaphorical trial by fire. Robert and Sylvie almost fail the test, but it’s mainly due to communication issues. The love they have for each other remains as pure as ever.

Sylvie’s Love Ending: The Sacrifices Made For Love

After Robert learns that the promises he received of a Motown gig in Detroit were fake, he makes a similar sacrifice to what Sylvie went through all those years ago; when she let him go to Paris without informing him about her pregnancy. She knew that Robert was not only an extra-ordinarily talented saxophonist but also loved playing the instrument. If she had  informed him about her pregnancy, he would have canceled the Paris trip and embraced his new responsibilities. Because she loved him, Sylvie could not do that to him, not even for herself and the new guest they were expecting.

So, when Robert’s turn comes, he gives her back all that she sacrificed. Sylvie has always had interest in television. She now has everything she has ever wanted as a producer of her own TV show. And yet, she wants to leave it all behind and move to Detroit with him. When he visits her at her work, he sees her in her element for the first time and realizes that she should not have loved him at such a cost. Till now, Sylvie has made all the sacrifices in their relationship.

Courtesy of Amazon Studios
Image Source: Entertainment weekly

Aside from not confessing to him about the pregnancy, she was the one who had to build the courage to walk out of her marriage. He separated with her in a painful but simple manner after telling her that he will go to Detroit alone. An angry and heartbroken Sylvie can’t understand why he is doing this and even charges him of infidelity; a charge that Robert immediately denies. Not too long before Sylvie realizes the depth of his sacrifice. She gets to know from Carmen (Eva Longoria) that Robert is now working at an auto plant in Detroit.

Later, her cousin Mona (Aja Naomi King) helps her see what Robert has done is almost what she did for him before his Paris trip. Before she travels to Detroit and meets with Robert, Sylvie asks Mona about her favorite song for this moment. It’s a game that the cousins have played since their youth. Mona’s reply is “The Best Is Yet to Come” by Frank Sinatra. It’s a perfect song that accumulates the emotions in the estranged couple’s reunion. As Mona puts it, the love they hold is exceptional, built on the basic block of mutual sacrifice.

Srishti Chopra
Srishti Chopra
Srishti is an engineering student who has an ardent passion for creating art and expressing things interestingly! She is currently in the second year of her engineering program and her aim is to gain maximum knowledge and skills from whatever she does.

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