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MJ Khan

When Nitefenix asked me to review ‘Happiness is a Four-letter Word’ I figured it was an adaptation of a graphic novel of some sort (probably Frank Miller). Turns out I was right about the movie being an adaptation (one out of three isn’t great betting odds).
Based on the novel of the same name by Cynthia Jele, ‘Happiness is a Four-letter Word’ is a romantic drama, set in Johannesburg, which explores the lives of three best friends – Nandi, Zaza and Princess.
Nandi is close to making partner at her law firm and is engaged to emerging entrepreneur, Thomas. Zaza is married to successful property developer Bheki. Princess is the celebrated owner of an art gallery, living with her boyfriend, Leo.
My initial feel was that this was a somewhat lazy adaptation of ‘Sex and the City’, however, as I got into it, I realised this wasn’t the case. Unlike Sex and the City’s Carrie, who was a struggling writer, the three protagonists in this flick live in a world devoid of financial struggle. This made it difficult for me to relate to as it played out like a 90 minute episode of Top Billing.
Assumably the movie is a vehicle for Khanyi Mbau to display her acting chops on the big screen, but sadly her character is the least interesting of the trio and probably has three scenes where she isn’t wearing lingerie. It’s like that mythical clause Matthew Mcconaughey has that ... Read Full Review

When Nitefenix asked me to review ‘Happiness is a Four-letter Word’ I figured it was an adaptation of a graphic novel of some sort (probably Frank Miller). Turns out I was right about the movie being an adaptation (one out of three isn’t great betting odds).
Based on the novel of the same name by Cynthia Jele, ‘Happiness is a Four-letter Word’ is a romantic drama, set in Johannesburg, which explores the lives of three best friends – Nandi, Zaza and Princess.
Nandi is close to making partner at her law firm and is engaged to emerging entrepreneur, Thomas. Zaza is married to successful property developer Bheki. Princess is the celebrated owner of an art gallery, living with her boyfriend, Leo.
My initial feel was that this was a somewhat lazy adaptation of ‘Sex and the City’, however, as I got into it, I realised this wasn’t the case. Unlike Sex and the City’s Carrie, who was a struggling writer, the three protagonists in this flick live in a world devoid of financial struggle. This made it difficult for me to relate to as it played out like a 90 minute episode of Top Billing.
Assumably the movie is a vehicle for Khanyi Mbau to display her acting chops on the big screen, but sadly her character is the least interesting of the trio and probably has three scenes where she isn’t wearing lingerie. It’s like that mythical clause Matthew Mcconaughey has that states he must be topless in at least one scene of every movie he acts in. Just like the Italian JobMovie Review: Happiness is a Four-Letter Word ended up being an extended ad for Mini Cooper, Khanyi’s (Zaza) scenes all resembled a Victoria Secret shoot.
Nandi’s story provided the biggest emotional hook as she had to deal with quite a few issues (her fiance’s baby mama, the choices she has to make to climb the corporate ladder, and a thirsty Akon- looking ex who has come back into her life.
The movie is quite predictable and I found myself guessing all the beats, however, it didn’t give me the same satisfaction as when I guessed that the ‘SWOT’ team stole the cash in Ocean’s 11. Coupled with pacing issues and poor timing (the dialogue had a ‘she says, then she pauses, then someone else speaks’ artificial feel to it), it didn’t grab me. The one thing I did love about it though was the high production values – the cinematography is stunning, with great use of aerial establishing shots.

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