Genre: Romantic comedy
Starring: Thando Thabethe, Lungile Radu, Zola Nombona, Andile Gumbi, Motlasti Mafatshe, Nomalanga Shozi and Nkanyiso Bhengu
Length: 1h 53 min
Director: Norman Maake
Age rating: 16
Girl Boss Rating: 8/10
I’m really loving the South African movies that are being created these days. Growing up there were not many South African movies that would show in the Cinema. However in recent times, if you go to the cinema, you may find a South African movie available to watch, which is great.
Love lives here is a South African romantic comedy. It is set in Durban and there are numerous shots of the coast line, the ocean and the harbor. Being set in Durban, the culture of the characters is isiZulu. Although, they speak mainly English. The music is also mostly South African, which is cool. I like the embracing of South African art.
The movie follows a romantic novelist played by Thando Thabethe. Although she is a career woman she wants to get married and have a family. She is progressive but also has traditional values. She is the ideal modern makoti. But, her boyfriend whom she has been dating for 3 years, doesn’t seem interested in the same family values she has. Her well to do boyfriend is played by Andile Gumbi. Who, talks down to her and is mean. The movie starts with Zinhle (Thando Thabethe) coming home early from a writer’s conference and surprises her boyfriend as it is their 3 year anniversary. Needless to say, she finds that he isn’t alone in his house. They break up.
She then tries to continue living her life although she is heartbroken. She links up with her girlfriends and goes to a party where she meets an up and coming photographer. When, on the dance floor a guy gets handsy and tries to grab her butt. She then manages to catch his hand and twist it behind his back in a self-defense physical combat move, forcing him to apologies. The photographer, played by Lungile Radu goes to intervene on her behalf, but she is able to defend herself and has the situation handled.
After the initial meeting he starts to pursues her. At first, she’s not that interested. Although, she gives him her number. He persists by texting and calling her, he even goes jogging on the same beachfront she jogs at. As, he saw her location pin on social media. She tells him its ‘stalker vibes’ jokingly and doesn’t pay much attention to him because she’s not sure if she can trust him as she’s recently been burned in an intimate relationship. Eventually he wins her affection. The two fall in love and when they make love for the first time, he goes down on her. When this happened, I thought whoohoo, viva la female orgasm! Look at him making sure his partner is sexually satisfied. That’s how you know this guy, is not a typical guy. He is progressive.
The story of the movie is great. I can really go on and tell you everything but I don’t want to spoil and twists and turns for you. The message of the movie is, love is about happiness. Love lives in the heart, be with a partner who you respects you and makes you happy. Don’t date/marry someone just for social and economic progression. Be with someone who actually loves you for who you are on the inside.
The movie is actually funny and romantic. The dynamic between the girlfriends is enjoyable. There’s the one friend whose going through a bitter divorce and the other who is a sex positive young woman, she is free with her sexuality. This is great because it’s her body, her choice but I did think okay, there needs to be a mention of condoms here. There are sex scenes in the movie and not one mention of protection or birth control and I just felt there was a teaching opportunity missed. It is also unrealistic as there should always be the when were you last tested for HIV, condom, birth control, contraception’s, discussion.
All in all, I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. I found it relevant as people my age are getting married now, and it is a topic that is pertinent for young career woman. What kind of partner do you want to create a life with? Do you even want to get married? When you get married, if it is to a man, what gender roles are you going to fulfill? For example, in the movie when the character Andile Gumbi plays, finishes his beer, he says “babe my beer is empty”. As if Thando Thabethe’s character must drop everything and go fetch him a cold beer. Would I go fetch the beer in a relationship? These are the questions we need to negotiate when settling down in a modern South African relationship.