I caught the opening of the local film “Mrs. Right Guy” during opening weekend. I must say, the consistency of local films coming out recently is quite heartening. One gets the sense that “something is happening” for the local industry. Following on the massive success of “Love Is A Four Letter Word”, it has been reported that “Mrs. Right Guy” has passed the R1 million in its opening weekend. However, I strongly believe that we as audiences need to do more to support local films if we want to see a significant change in the representation of black stories in films.
“Mrs. Right Guy” sees the big screen debut of a few familiar faces. It stars Dineo Moeketsi as Gugu, a young advertising creative whose heart has grown cold after a devastating and humiliating end of her premature marriage. By chance, she comes across Joe (Lehasa Moloi), a “high school sweetheart” type of guy who is a single father. He sells chickens…and chicken takeaways (seemingly freshly slaughtered) at Neighbourgoods Market, and has a penchant for fixing cars with his shirt off a qinise i6pack. To complete the proverbial love triangle, is Gugu’s new boss Dumile (Thapelo Mokoena), a charming but predatory businessman to who doesn’t mind defecating where he eats.
It is difficult to give an overall impression of the film because it does have its good moments and not so good ones. By and large, the storyline relies heavily on familiarity. It leans on your familiarity with storylines where a woman has to choose between a bad boy and the boy next door. As a result, many key moments do not play out on the screen but, in the audience’s mind, leaving glaring gaps in the actual story. This may be a clever move since it saves the storyline from being too drawn out with.
The relationship between Gugu and her friend/colleague Anna (Thando Thabethe) is beautifully authentic and genuinely entertaining. Not so much for their bff Thabang (Tau Maserumule) but, it’s all good. While watching the film, it became quite apparent to me what a “chick flick” actually is. There were quite a few scenes where the cinema was filled with the laughter of the female audience. Myself and a few other guys I glanced at, had no idea what the joke was. Which is good, I guess.
In its predictability (which is standard for the genre), the story is also real, with real situations and real questions; What do you do with a broken heart? When betrayal leaves you, literally, stranded, at which point do you decide to accept and move on? Also, more importantly, for women, what do men actually want? Then there is the issue of trust. Gugu finds herself repeatedly having to hand over her stitched up sense of trust to another stranger in hope that they won’t leave her after screaming for her ancestors, so to say.
The production of the film is quite beautiful. The Joburg cityscape has come into its own as a character in stories. The wardrobe is stunning when it comes to the ladies – how can they afford Level 3 dresses on a copywriter stipend? But do yourself a favour and go watch it, it’s great for a chilled bae night. The film is charming, like a beautiful and sophisticated woman who drives a beige Cressida called Jabulani.