New Romantic Comedy delves into the perils of Looking for Love.
We’ve all had our fair share of bad dates. But when it comes to the worst of them, few can beat the experiences of poor Buyi Dube in the new film Looking for Love by Nigerian-born filmmaker Adze Ugah, which portrays some of the perils of the local dating scene for women who are almost 40.
Looking for Love stars Celeste Ntuli, one of South Africa’s favourite actors and comedians, in the role of ’38 and single’ Buyi. She is an often inappropriate workaholic who is under pressure to find love. Also featuring in the star-studded cast are Trevor Gumbi, Lillian Dube and Phindile Gwala.
Adze Ugah says the idea for the film originated two years ago, after a conversation he had with Celeste Ntuli about doing a movie, loosely based on her life and her journey to becoming a stand-up comedian. The raw thoughts were put into an outline that went to writer Chinaka Iwunze, who turned it into a script.
“What’s unique about the film is that it’s an adult comedy, which we believe is a first for SA cinemas,” Ugah says. “It tells the story of an average South African girl who is doing her best to get by and has no choice but to use her wits to navigate the complex maze of relationships, while also figuring out a career path. Traditionally, films of this nature feature a female lead with attributes that make her extremely desirable, but our character is stripped bare of that. She could easily be someone we meet on the street.”
The story begins with a disastrous drunken display at her younger sister’s wedding. Buyi has her parents worried that she’s wasting her life working at meaningless jobs. They insist that she takes her head out of the clouds and focus on finding herself a good man and settling down. Goofing around was fine at 20, even 30, they insist, but Buyi’s almost 40.
Buyi is absolutely gutted. She returns to Jozi from KwaZulu-Natal feeling deflated about her love life. Where the hell is a ‘heavier-set’, black woman, going to find a man in South Africa? Desperate, Buyi reluctantly allows her beautiful, sexy, best friend Lindi, played by Phindile Gwala, to help find her a man from her multitudinous collection.
Following a series of catastrophic dates – including questionable concoctions, a quirky magician with a cat obsession, and a sex addict, who can’t get enough of a big butt – Buyi quickly loses hope of finding her match. Meanwhile, Greg, played by Trevor Gumbi, an old schoolmate from Buyi’s past who is in love with her, comes to town with the aim of becoming her manager and turning her into a star comedian. But Buyi’s on a mission to find a man, and besides, she’s not funny! Or is she?
This entertaining, heart-warming story of acceptance and hope follows one woman on her journey to learning that the path to finding Mr. Right begins with finding herself first.
Looking for Love opens at cinemas nationwide on 31 August 2018.