Tell Me Sweet Something

2015-09-04 09:34

What it's about:

Moratiwa (Nomzamo Mbatha) is an aspiring novelist with writer's block. She hasn't had much luck with love ever since her ex-boyfriend Norman went out to buy milk and never came back. Moratiwa now runs a second-hand bookshop in the hippest most vibrant part of the new Johannesburg, unfortunately in the glamorous world of it girls and boys; books are not 'a thing'. Tired of having a recluse as a best friend, Tashaka (Thishiwe Ziqubu) convinces her to party up a storm at a new club in the city; it is here that she meets South Africa's no.1 celebrity model Nat Masilo (Maps Maponyane) or as she nicknames him 'The 45 Foot Man'.

What we thought:

Set in the backdrop of Johannesburg, I was pleasantly surprised that a love story was set up in the City of Gold. The Maboneng precinct was filled with cinematic moments, from passionate sunset rooftop kisses to romantic bike rides, the City of Gold was definitely was out to prove a point.

Speaking of passionate kisses, Maps Maponyane and Nomzamo Mbatha definitely heated up the screens with their palpable chemistry. Not only were these two easy on the eyes, but also the fact that it was both their first time on the big screen, made their chemistry organic which was quite refreshing to watch.

But sadly not even the chemistry of these two could save the film. The generic story line was very outdated and much the same as every other romantic comedy I’ve watched.

As we know there’s always a couple of bumps in a romantic genre before it can reach it’s “happily ever after”. And although this movie has a couple of twists you may not expect, it was trying too hard to not fit that mould of “happily ever after” that it became too long-winded to digest everything that was going on.

There were several moments in the film I felt the dialogue was going nowhere and that scenes should just be scrapped entirely because there was no point for it.

The redundant storyline between the main characters and continuous back and forth made parts a bore to watch that even that rather intense bath scene made me feel nothing (not even tingles).

Clichéd parts, (spoiler alert, Nat potentially being a baby daddy to someone else) could be seen by a mile and maybe even further away that I longed for moments where the supporting cast played by comedian Kagiso Lediga, Thembi Seete and especially Thomas Gumede, provided the much needed comedic moments in the otherwise sappy parts.

Lastly, the elderly people’s stories of how they met and stayed together, I found rather sweet and endearing. It broke the very slow-moving story up nicely, and gave me something truly authentic to hold onto.

The title of the film pretty much sums up what you expect of it, an overly sweet story filled with generic young love. The only difference is the backdrop.

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Lesego Madisa 2015/09/07 2:06 PM
This has to be the first for Akin Omotoso as a writer/director. Some moving romantic comedy. Moratiwa played by Nomzamo Mbatha from the isiZulu drama called Isibaya was a teen writing sensation who grew up to own a second hand book shop in downtown Johannesburg in a little district called Maboneng Precinct. The opening scene was excellent…real-life old fashioned couples sharing their courtship experience-to-marriage to quickly get us into the storyline. Even the opening sequence was remarkable to see. The animation itself deserves an award as the city was explores through moving coloured imagery. Tell Me Sweet Something has definitely set a trend with this unexplored approach. Moratiwa has no boyfriend at the time because of some commitment issues experienced with past boyfriends. Having some cameos was S’dumo Mtshali (iNumber Number) and Teboho Mahlatsi of Bomb Shelter firm. The first chapter of her (Moratiwa) upcoming novel is called ‘It must be like the Kalahari down there’ reflecting on her lack of intimacy with the opposite sex she has been going through. Moratiwa has a smart phone but uses a 20 something year old typewriter to start up her novel. Odd. Most of the movie takes place on location in Maboneng Precinct where the lead lives, works and hangs out with her friends. A good friend of Moratiwa played by Thishiwe Ziqubu (Tashaka) with her forever banging teenage body in leather pants wants to set her up for love or even just a simple date. I’ve seen Thishiwe in real life and her figure is really that amazing. No credit ton camera angles or anything like that. She still possesses that involuntary seductive charm and carries this wherever she goes. Whatever television project she is in. However, this movie is not about her. She is also dealing with her love drama. Her live-in slob boyfriend is portrayed by veteran comedian Kagiso Lediga from Pure Monate days. Katlego’s character was enough. He never tried to overdo his part and gave most of humour scenes to Thomas Gumede who’s just a great actor. One of the 5 rules to finding a good man according to Tashaka is to look a prospect’s shoes. I only wish they showed us the gentlemen at the club wearing their shoes so we could decide for ourselves whether Tashaka was onto something with her 5 piece theory. Well known South African TV personality Thembi Seete is not so young anymore but managed to stick to her character with that ice pink wig. Amazing. She gave out a crisp dialogue. In a lot of ways I believe Nat (Masego Maponyane) didn’t have to work hard on getting it on with our female lead character. And I wished make-up trimmed his hair. A fade must have done wonders because you could see the beginnings on his hairline unmade throughout the film. This film has a wealth of beautiful scenery but I wonder if it was leading the story forward or it was just a glamour/glitz music video. Still something to appreciate. Nat is a model and is well known around these parts. The only common thing they have with Moratiwa is that they are both single and are looking for someone. The team heads out of the club separately and we find Moratiwa at Nat’s place. Not even a Sunday Times paperin sight. She took notice of this. Masego only started being in the movie about a quarter into it. He gave such a disappointing and stale stint. The problem could have been perhaps his use of eyewear which covered his most important organs – his eyes which are used as a tool for expression. He lacked expression and almost sounded like he was doing a voice over. We all know that a movie is never shot chronologically but it seemed that at the runway fashion party it was only when Masego starting establishing his character in the story. Like he had to stop ‘pretending’. His joy and direction was real. It oozed authenticity. Particularly because he does that for a living in real life. Nat was also philosophical in his departure to Vietnam and his with his return. But he doesn’t even read. Odd again. The iconicRefilwe Modiselle looked like she was portraying the lead in Moratiwa’s love story. Running in rains. Lost. Looking for sunshine. This could be a metaphor. Nat’s ex DJ girlfriend ruins their first time together and seemed determined to win him back which later sparked on social media lines about him fathering her unborn child. Something Moratiwa does not need at the moment: drama. The movie has one of the most beautiful and relaxing music in theatre release’s. The serenade by soft guitar strums and major keys was charged with sleep inducing, relaxing and flawless entertainment. The medium close-up across Fox street were all brilliance. I wish they could have explored other bodily activities on the erotic scenes. Thishiwe set the bar very high in her work of a scheming gun woman in the 2014 film Hard To Get. They were not plain but did not have enough sizzle either. Maybe this was enough. It’s not dry anymore down there. I guess. Maponyane was obviously chosen to play a biopic of his own life which he did with passionate ease. The unforgettable hiss came into view when Moratiwa walked up the stairs after spending the night with her new boyfriend to give us a drooling glimpse of her ass cheeks of what seemed to have passed way too quickly. Scenes not involving the lead did not add anything to the story and made it look like a series. Examples are where Gordon and Tashaka were meeting at a white bar. And then? Tashaka had her own idol when it comes to numbered life tactics which is the posh lady, Mampho Brescia who advised her in Japanese. She could have been the only one in this country to pull off something like that. This was adding to the protagonist’s inner goal which was to find love and be happy and possibly finish her novel. Nat’s plan to visit Vietnam was so random. He could have boarded a plane to a fashion city like New York in the U.S. This was a stupid decision. But then again ‘Choices have been made’. Made by Akin to play around a senseless plot to get to page 90. I wanted the couple to have some dialogue while making out just to place us in their thoughts. Fikile Mthwalo (Zak from Isidingo) also got credited for her small part of the wife of Moratiwa’s run away boyfriend. The milk man. The ending was cliché. Yes it was Moratiwa who decided to end things giving Nat an opportunity to do whatever he wanted but even with his return we are not assured that he is here to stay. There we go again, focusing on romance instead of reason. Did our female lead want a husband? A family of her own? Children? Why wasn’t this established? My conclusion is it’s the first of its kind in SA and has definitely set a new trend which will be followed by artist alike. It’s a lead romantic comedy at this time (2015) and will win hearts of many because of its flair, jump cuts and stylized credits. My overall score is 7/10.
Charles Bolland 2015/09/08 2:35 PM
Haven't seen it, but not sure if I really want to... not my cup of tea.
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