Rarely has a Tinder date ended so poorly than the one shown in “Queen & Slim.” Even more rarely has a bad Tinder date produced such a great film.
The remarkable “Queen & Slim” is a romance and a road movie, a film about outlaws on the run, two journeys of self-discovery and a nuanced social commentary. It’s not perfect, but it’s close – an urgent, beautiful and socially conscious trip through the American racial psyche in 2019.
“Queen & Slim” is the feature-film directorial debut from Melina Matsoukas, who has directed episodes of HBO’s “Insecure” and helmed Beyoncé’s Grammy-winning video “Formation.” The script is from Emmy-winner Lena Waithe (Netflix’s “Master of None”) with, bizarrely, an assist from disgraced “A Million Little Pieces” author James Frey, and a nod to “Thelma & Louise.”
The film starts in a Cleveland diner with a mismatched pair who have connected online. She’s a stiff lawyer in a turtleneck; he’s a peaceful retail worker in Carhartt. She picked him because his profile picture looked sad. (“I felt sorry for you,” she says.) This date is going nowhere.