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Review: Love by Chance

RSA and USA collaboration to hit SA Big Screens

by Coen Jacobs


Altovise Lawrence at the Premiere of Love by Chance

Altovise Lawrence

As stated in the 2017 film Love by Chance “Everyone has something special inside of themselves”. This special something is the ingredient of our dreams, but it is yet to be discovered, developed, brought to life and matured to reach its full potential. Even more than that, it has to survive the challenges of discouragement, doubt and sacrifice. The question is: what will you do when your moment comes and when the spotlight falls onto your special something, and when the stage is set for your dream on the verge of becoming a reality?

This question is explored in the South African-US co-production romantic comedy, Love by Chance, directed by Samad Davis. This film follows the journey of two aspiring actors form South Africa, who are independently trying to find their own spotlight in Hollywood. It explores what happens when the spotlight of a Hollywood set falls on their special talents, but the film also goes deeper and explores what happens when the spotlight of love illuminates their hearts.

Atandwa Kani at the Premiere of Love by Chance

Atandwa Kani

Altovise Lawrence stars as the female lead. She was winner of the first season of Top Actor Africa. Her character Bailey, not only embarks on a journey of finding her spotlight, but her journey also entails finding her own confidence and self-acceptance. The male lead role is played by Atandwa Kani, son of renowned actor, director and playwright John Kani. Kani in his role as Chance, captures the audience with his brilliant acting talent. Through the film his character develops from an amateur aspiring actor to a successful actor who is assigned a leading role. However this new role entails new challenges and the audience is captured by the tension of whether his new role will make or break him. Throughout the movie the viewer is introduced not only to Kani’s comedic side, but also by his more serious side as his character develops.

However, the lead characters are not alone on their journeys to making their dreams a reality. They are accompanied by family, friends and lovers who not only support them, but also bring a new realistic dimension on how to juggle all the balls of living your dream while also having others to look out for. Sometimes chasing your dreams comes at a cost.

Nicholas Nkuna at the Premiere of Love by Chance

Nicholas Nkuna

US co-stars include Carl Anthony Payne, Clifton Powell, Terri J. Vaughn, E. Roger Mitchell, and Lil Zane. Most of these co-stars enhanced the reality of the film, which contributed to its success. Not only because of their well-known names, but also because of their characters confronting the lead characters with opportunities, truths and the hardships of standing on a stage while the curtain is dropped.

From the first scenes it is evident that this movie entails a journey where comedy and drama, love and hate, success and failure, fame and obscurity meet. But the mosaic of this film is glued together by the elements of reality which beautifully portrays the real struggles of everyday life on the journey of following your dreams. Not only do the characters have to deal with the physical, practical and financial demands of their journey, but they also have to realize the emotional demands of self-doubt and being let down.

The film is produced by Samad Davis and Ty Johnston-Chavis with Errol Sadler as co-producer, Cristina Davis as associate producer, and James Few as line producer. The film’s local producers are Dumi Gumbi and Cati Weinek of the Ergo Company. They produced the recent film, Mrs Right Guy, and winner of best film at the Jozi Film Festival, Dora’s Peace. The incidental music in this film enhances a particular atmosphere of laughter, tension and heartache.

For me this film was capturing. Not only did I enjoy the light, funny side of this film, but also felt it pulling on my heart strings, as I started identifying with the characters’ challenges and realizations. I particularly enjoyed the bridging of worlds and cultures as portrayed in this film. The development of the characters spoke clearly to me as viewer. However I felt that the logical build-up of the film ended too abruptly and caused the film to lose touch with some of the aspects of reality. Ready to buckle up and be inspired to chase your own dreams?

The film releases countrywide on 5 May 2017.

This review was edited by Bronwen Kerry.  Photos by the feature’s Publicists and Coen Jacobs

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