4

Tha bang

We had Tell Me Sweet Something in December and not less than three months later we have another major movie pandering to the rom-com/chick flick market. It's making a killing at the box office, but is it any good? Let's dig in...
Adapted from a book by Cynthia Jele, who also helped to co-write the feature film script, Thabang Moleya's debut feature film is not as fanciful as Tell Me Sweet Something but it trails the line of whimsical, escapist romantic genres and it's something that speaks to the condition of upwardly mobile females in our country, very finely.
The three main characters are borderline stereotypes/archetypes based on how the film speaks to you. There's the gold digger played by Khanyi Mbau (I guess the irony is not lost on the audience), the arty type, played by Renata Stuurman, and then the stick in the mud/all-about-being-successful, played by Mmabatho Montsho (the OCD references are so on the nose - the show-don't-tell idiom is lost on the script writers in this instance).
Yes, it's like Sex in the City and Waiting to Exhale - all those American movies just with local stars at the forefront.
Then there's a long list of beef cakes and semi beef cakes in all shapes and sizes for the ladies to perve over... Thabang Moleya delivers an escapist rom-com with eveything pretty, glossy and clean. The escapist factor is ratched up on high with some drama thrown in ... Read Full Review

We had Tell Me Sweet Something in December and not less than three months later we have another major movie pandering to the rom-com/chick flick market. It’s making a killing at the box office, but is it any good? Let’s dig in…
Adapted from a book by Cynthia Jele, who also helped to co-write the feature film script, Thabang Moleya’s debut feature film is not as fanciful as Tell Me Sweet Something but it trails the line of whimsical, escapist romantic genres and it’s something that speaks to the condition of upwardly mobile females in our country, very finely.
The three main characters are borderline stereotypes/archetypes based on how the film speaks to you. There’s the gold digger played by Khanyi Mbau (I guess the irony is not lost on the audience), the arty type, played by Renata Stuurman, and then the stick in the mud/all-about-being-successful, played by Mmabatho Montsho (the OCD references are so on the nose – the show-don’t-tell idiom is lost on the script writers in this instance).
Yes, it’s like Sex in the City and Waiting to Exhale – all those American movies just with local stars at the forefront.
Then there’s a long list of beef cakes and semi beef cakes in all shapes and sizes for the ladies to perve over… Thabang Moleya delivers an escapist rom-com with eveything pretty, glossy and clean. The escapist factor is ratched up on high with some drama thrown in just to keep the film a bit grounded to this earth.
The fancy cars, fancy houses, the 1% life that not half of the black audiance who are going to watch this movie are living – it’s all there for the audience to gorge on, critique, diss, envy and to some, identify with.
So we’re telling the same tales with the same hang ups as the Americans just with South African,some Pan African faces in it, escapism is winning at the box office. When the film ended one of the ladies in the cinema was like “now South African films have arrived”….ja nee.
The saving grace for me with Happiness is that it has moments that feel genuine, that go beyond the material, nice cars, nice bodies and nice clothes, where we connect with characters on a personal level. It captures moments that anyone who has been in a relationshp can relate to but those moments were not too frequent for me until we quickly dove tail back into the melodrama and bling.
Or maybe it’s just that i’m not the target market at all, ’cause the ladies who had filled the cinema came out very happy and i came out reasoning to myself (at least it was not as superficial as Tell Me Sweet Nothing… i mean Something).
Judging from the cinema that was full with ladies, in the film’s second weeek [sic] on circuit, it has its audience – if you are a dude who’s not into rom com,this is just ain’t for you, STAY AWAY you’ve been warned.
Side note: Thabang Moleya cut his teeth on television dramas like Jozi H, Jacob’s Cross to mention a few and he was the dude behind the AKA “Beast” video.

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