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. The film opens at cinemas nationwide on 31 August 2018.
‘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 take 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 (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 (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.
A stellar cast
Ntuli is an award-winning, full-time stand-up comedian who first captured the public’s attention on SABC’s ‘So You Think You’re Funny’, where she came third. She’s a household name today and one of the few female comedians at the forefront of the male-dominated South African comedy industry. She won the Mbokodo Award for Best Comedienne in 2015, and was a nominee in the SA Comics Choice Awards for 2015 and 2016 (voted for by peers in the industry, including Trevor Noah and Loyiso Gola). She has performed at some of the country’s biggest comedy events, including the Comedy Central International Festival, Johannesburg International Comedy Festival, BET Experience Comedy Festival and the Comedy Central Roast of Jeff Ross. Ntuli attributes her success to the fact that no subject is taboo as far as she is concerned. She can be seen daily on television as one of the main characters, Siphokazi Zungu, in ‘Isibaya’, on Mzansi Magic, which has a viewership of more than one million.
In the role of Greg is Trevor Gumbi, one of SA’s top comedians, writers and actors. A well-known face on television, Gumbi has appeared at several major comedy events in the country, including Oppikoppi, Rocking the Daisies, King-size comedy jams, Blacks Only, Laugh out Loud and Arts Alive Comedy Festival. He has gained voice over experience on e.tv’s animated series ‘Jozi Zoo’, can be heard on 5fm, as ‘The black guy at a braai’. In 2016, he replaced DJ Sbu as host of the SABC1 game show Friends Like These, beginning with the fourteenth season. He also starred in his own dark comedy/drama series ‘The Sober Companion’ on SABC3.
Fans of actress Phindile Gwala, who is famous for her role in the soapie ‘Muvhango’, will see her in a different role, that of Lindi, a serial blessee living a lavish lifestyle. Lindi thinks about men all the time, even going to church to look for potential blessers.
In the role of Buyi’s mother Mrs Dube, is veteran, multi-award-winning actress Lillian Dube, most fondly known for her role as Sister Bettina in the SABC1 drama series Soul City – a role she played for 15 years.
‘Looking for Love’ opens at cinemas nationwide on 31 August 2018. The film is distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution (IFD).
View Trailer Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ_ez4RyQo4
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