Happiness Is a Four Letter Word

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RELEASE DATE: 19th February 2016
RATING:
10-12 PG
RUNNING TIME: 1hr 45min
GENRE:  Drama
STARRING: 
DIRECTOR: Thabang Moleya
WRITERS: Cynthia Jele (book)
PRODUCERS: Junaid AhmedBongiwe SelaneHelena Spring
PRODUCTION BUDGET: N/A
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: https://www.facebook.com/happinessisafourletterwordmovie/

 

FIRST THOUGHTS

It’s Sex in Sandton

PLOT

The lives of three friends, their ups and downs, are explored in this drama. Nandi (Mmabatho Montsho) has everything she wants, a prestigious job as a junior partner at a law firm, the perfect fiancé, Thomas (Tongayi Chirisa) and a good life, Princess (Renate Stuurman) is an established artist who flits from guy to guy, always the life of the party, until she meets a handsome, troubled photographer and everything changes and Zaza (Khanyi Mbau) has the perfect husband, perfect kids and a successful shoe store in Sandton. Unfortunately their lives are not as perfect as they would like to people to think. Nandi is troubled by a man from her past, Chris (Chris Attoh), coming back into her life and turning her head, Princess’ perfect guy turns out to be more troubled than she originally thought, and Zaza’s marriage is tainted by her infidelity, something she can’t seem to shake. The four friends fight and laugh and try to keep their lives on track, but it’s not as easy as they think.

WHY WATCH IT

I’ll be completely honest, I didn’t expect much from this film, especially after the slew of English language South African flops recently, so I went in to watch it with more than a little trepidation. Thankfully I was wrong, mostly. It’s not a bad film. The story is compelling and keeps you interested for the duration of the show. The production value is good, as is expected nowadays, even with South African films, but the problem is that the whole thing is terribly boring.

The characters are so far removed from anything virtually any South African can actually relate to, that you don’t really connect with them. They’re a bunch of rich ladies, dealing with rich people problems.

The three leads, Montsho, Stuurman and Mbau do fine jobs with their characters, but the truth is that they don’t ingratiate themselves to the audience, and you don’t really care much about their characters at the end of the day. The only performance worth taking note of it Chirisa, who gives a solid performance as the fiancé. He is charming and endearing and a really good leading man. I suggest some producer out there give him a leading role in another film, because he will totally be able to carry it off. He makes Montosho look better in the scenes they have together, but when they’re apart there’s not much to her.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The entire film is boring. There are moments of interest, but they are few and far between, turning the film into a bit of a snore fest.

If you were a fan of the Sex and the City series, or the two films, then you might find this film interesting, or a cheap knock off, depending on how you look at it, but it’s not bad. It has some fun moments, and Chirisa’s performance is enough for me to suggest using it as a date film, if you can’t find anything else.

RATING

6/10

REVIEWED BY

Jon Broeke (@jonbroeke)

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