It’s the month of love with Valentine’s Day on 14 February at the peak of it, so for many couples, watching Mzansi’s locally produced romantic movies on Showmax would a great idea.
Luckily, the popular online streaming service has curated five interesting flicks to set the mood right and reaffirm your love bonds – South African-style.
‘No Love Lost’
What’s the worst thing that can happen to you on Baecation?
Amahle (Hope Mbhele from Umkhokha), a hopeless romantic, gets surprised by her boyfriend Dumisani (Lungile Radu from Love Lives Here) with a getaway for their one-year anniversary. At the resort, she bumps into her ex-boyfriend Lwazi (two-time SAFTA winner Pallance Dladla from DAM), on vacation with his current girlfriend Azania (SAFTA winner Zola Nombona from Lockdown). This leads to a series of unavoidable double dates where the exes begin to question whether their feelings are really in the past.
No Love Lost is the feature film debut of director Phiwo Mkhanzi (House of Zwide, Isibaya), produced by Minnie Dlamini-Jones’ production company, Beautiful Day Productions.
From the creators of Die Boekklub and Fynskrif, Troukoors (Wedding Fever) is the first Showmax Original romcom. Breakout star Ilse-Lee van Niekerk is Jessica, a wedding planner who’s surrounded by love at work but struggling to find it for herself.
“Troukoors is like Younger or The Bold Type, but set against the splendour and romance of the Cape wedding industry,” says Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Showmax.
Troukoors peaked at number 2 on the Showmax charts, just behind The Wife. The Witness called it “quirky and full of heart;” Die Son “hip, current and luxurious;” OFM‘s Renaldo Schwarp “vibrant and naughty… heartfelt and just pure joy to watch.”
‘A Safe Bet’
Pearl is the most sought after attorney in the country – at the cost of her love life. When her boyfriend dumps her just as the Christmas family gathering is around the corner, Pearl’s increasingly impatient mother drags her to church for some divine intervention. She receives a life-changing prophecy about who she’ll find her happily ever after with: a man with the surname Dlamini. But will Pearl follow her heart or the prophecy?
A Safe Bet’s stellar cast is led by actress, fashion icon and presenter Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa (Queen Sono, Rockville), with Jerry Mofokeng’s son, actor and musician Lerato Makhetha (Isidingo), Cedric Fourie (Skeem Saam, Durban Gen), and SAFTA winner Charmaine Mtinta (Scandal!, Yizo Yizo) co-starring.
The Sesotho romcom is directed by Weldun Media executive producer Kgosana Monchusi, who won awards at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival and Jozi Film Festival for his short film Opus, and was nominated for a 2020 SAFTA for The Big Secret Season 2.
‘Love, Lies & Hybrids’
Jessica and her lover Sophia look forward to a mountain escape for a few days before New Year’s Day, while Jessica’s environmental activist fiancé, Daniel, is away at a conference. So when Daniel arrives to surprise Jessica, he is the one that gets a surprise. Now, with the truth revealed about Jessica’s infidelity, is there a way to save their relationship or will this be the last time the three of them are together?
Directed by two-time SAFTA winner Amanda Lane (iEmmy nominee Is’thunzi, 4Play: Sex Tips For Girls), Love, Lies & Hybrids stars Megan Oberholzer (Cut-Out Girls) as Jessica, Shamilla Miller (The Girl From St Agnes, Blood & Water) as Sophia and Alexander Maniatis (Projek Dina) as Daniel.
The 16SNL polyamorous love story is produced by multiple SAFTA winner and iEmmy nominee Roberta Durrant (Krotoa, Home Affairs, Arendsvlei) through Paw Paw Films, based on a script by Tristram Atkins (Afgrond, Arendsvlei, Sara se Geheim) and Meesha Aboo.
‘Welcome to the Family’
The romcom Welcome to the Family centres on Palesa, who has barely said “yes” to her boyfriend’s marriage proposal when she finds herself dragged along to his family home in KZN, where she discovers that she is about to marry into an over-the-top, wealthy family led by two overbearing, controlling and hard-to-please monster-in-laws.
Written by Nandisa Mkize (Umakoti Wethu) and directed by Nthabiseng Tau (Isidingo director and Muvhango’s Meiki), Welcome to the Family stars Nolo Seabi (Isithembiso, Scandal!), Siphesihle Vazi (Selimathunzi), triple SAFTA winner Linda Sebezo (Lockdown), Delisile Malinga (Umkhokha, The Queen), Zakhele Msibi (Isibaya), and Bongiwe Ngidi (Saints and Sinners).
COMING SOON: ‘Late Bloomer’
In Late Bloomer (available to stream from 28 February 2022), a happy-go-lucky party girl must reassess her carefree life when she suspects she may be pregnant after a one-night stand.
Rated 16SL, Late Bloomer co-stars Nicole Fortuin (Flatland, Indemnity, Alles Malan) and Danny Ross (Skemerdans, Desert Rose) alongside the likes of SAFTA winner Denise Newman (Material, Shirley Adams), SAFTA nominee Monique Rockman (Gaia, Nommer 37), Fleur du Cap winner Bianca Flanders (Troukoors, Address Unknown) and comedian Kate Pinchuck (Tali’s Baby Diary).
It’s the second feature from Amy Jephta, whose film debut, Barakat, was South Africa’s entry for this year’s Oscars. Jephta also wrote and co-directed the critically acclaimed Showmax Original noir Skemerdans.