5 local movies to love on Showmax this Valentine’s Day
It’s that time of the year again when heart emojis trend and a romantic movie to end off the night is just what the love doctor prescribed.
Whether you’ve found the One, are still searching, or might have overlooked the One sitting right next to you, Showmax has the perfect South African, or African, movie to chill out – or turn up the heat – with this Valentine’s Day.
If you like your romance epic: A United Kingdom
It’s the perfect African story for Valentine’s Day: a love that defied an empire. A United Kingdom is a biographical romance based on true events. The controversial 1947 marriage of King Seretse Khama of Botswana to a British white woman, Ruth Williams, met with fierce opposition from both their families and the British government. The union threw Botswana into political and diplomatic turmoil, jeopardised the British Empire’s position in Africa and came close to sparking a war with SA’s apartheid government.
If you’re ready for the real thing: Love Lives Here
Zinhle (Thando Thabethe from Generations: The Legacy) is a hard-working modern woman with strong traditional values who knows what she deserves and believes she knows what kind of man she needs to be happy. Unwilling to play games and waste time, she’s ready to take the next step in her life and get married. When she meets Nkosinathi (Lungile Radu from Rhythm City), sparks fly, but can they overcome their baggage to find out where love truly lives? Directed by Norman Maake, it also stars Zola Nombona, Andile Gumbi, Motlatsi Mafatshe, Nkanyiso Bhengu, and the face of BET in Africa, Nomalanga Shozi.
If you love your BFFs: Happiness is a Four-Letter Word
Perfectionist Nandi seems to have it all within her grasp – partnership in a major Joburg firm, her upcoming wedding, and the perfect house. But it all goes up in flames a few months before the wedding. With her friends Zaza and Princess, Nandi will have to find out what truly makes her happy, and fight to get it.
Mmabatho Montsho is Nandi, with Khanyi Mbau and Renate Stuurman playing her besties in this uplifting romantic drama. It also stars Tongayi Chirisa, Thabang Moleya, Richard Lukunku, Stevel Marc, Chris Attoh, Terence Bridgett, Emmanuel Castis and Hlomla Dandala.
If you’re holding out for a fairytale ending: Vir Altyd
Sometimes you’re so busy chasing the happy ever after, that you forget about the here and now. When Hugo, a successful travel photographer, planned to return to his family home in Paarl, he had no idea he would be coming home on the eve of his childhood best friend Nina’s wedding day, or that he would arrive at the worst, and best, possible moment in Nina’s life.
Filmed in Mauritius, Vir Altyd reunites Pad Na Jou Hart stars Ivan Botha and Donnalee Roberts, but switches up their roles. The movie also stars Jaco Smit, Dirk Stoltz, Elize Cawood, Wilson Dunster and Ilse Roos. It was the most popular local film at the SA box office in 2016.
If you believe in love, music and Boy George: Kanarie
To find love, you first have to find yourself. Boy George-obsessed teen Johan doesn’t fit in in his conservative and deeply Christian small Afrikaans town in apartheid SA in the 80s. When his army call-up papers arrive, it seems like a death sentence. His best shot at surviving his compulsory two-year military training is getting into the Defence Force choir, known as the Canaries (Kanaries). Little does Johan suspect that it’s here that he’ll discover his true self through hardship, camaraderie, first love, and the liberating freedom of music.
Two-time Comics’ Choice winner Schalk Bezuidenhout, who also won a SAFTA for his supporting role in the kykNET comedy Hotel, delivers a stunning performance as Johan.
Kanarie is directed by Christiaan Olwagen (Poppie Nongena, Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie) and also stars Hannes Otto, Jacques Bessenger, Germand Geldenhuys, David Viviers, De Klerk Oelofse, Francois Jacobs and Gerard Rudolph. Plus, look out for scene-stealer Beer Adriaanse as the foul-mouthed, barking Corporal Crunchie, as well as cameos from SA acting alumni Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Dawid Minaar, Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Albert Pretorius, Albert Maritz, Martelize Kolver and Jennifer Steyn.
The movie was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award, arguably the international LGBTQ community’s highest honour, and scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Lost Angeles Times called it a “rich, poignant and finely observed musical-drama”.
But that’s not all…
Catch comedian Celeste Ntuli’s star turn in Looking for Love, and Love The One You Love, Jenna Cato Bass’ arthouse tale of love lost and found in Cape Town, named Best SA film at Durban and Jozi Film Festival, starring Chi Mhende, Andile Nebulane and Louw Venter. Also look out for great Afrikaans romance flicks like Die Windpomp, Dis Koue Kos, Skat and Liefling.