So I watched Mrs Right Guy…
There was a fair amount of hype surrounding this film with plenty of my friends eager to see it after seeing the trailer. I, myself, hadn’t seen the trailer but I’m the kind of person who doesn’t need too much convincing to go see a movie; plus I’m striving to support more local films. Unfortunately supporting local can be a real labour of love…
Okay, basic plot: After being abandoned on her honeymoon, Gugu (Dineo Moeketsi) comes back home with a less than flattering view on men. She refuses to allow herself to love and treats every guy like a dog unworthy of her time and energy. One day Gugu crashes into the back of a truck which belongs to Joe (Lehasa Moloi) – a local entrepreneur who takes pity on her and offers to fix her car. The accident ends up being doubly fortuitous for Gugu as Joe (in addition to fixing her car) is the perfect candidate for a marketing campaign the advertising company Gugu works for is running. Gugu’s drive impresses her new boss – Dumile (Thapelo Mokoena) who’s interest in Gugu is growing beyond the professional. After swearing off men, Gugu now finds herself juggling two with her career also in the balance.
I think a major problem that local films still suffer from is the inability to display progression in their stories. They have their departure and arrival points well mapped-out but the route necessary to connect these two points is often ill-defined or completely lacking. That’s my biggest complaint with this movie (and believe me there were several to chose from). Events transpire on screen and our lead character is clearly different from who they were in the beginning; but you’re never shown the metamorphosis that led to the change but instead have the finished product shoved in your face without proper explanation.
Look, this is a romcom not Citizen Kane so I’m not expecting groundbreaking story that leaves me questioning my humanity but I am expecting a logical series of steps that leads me to the conclusion. Gugu goes from hating men in one scene to being a lovesick puppy in the next without so much as a passing explanation given to justify the change. The beauty of a story like this is seeing the walls a character has built up to protect their heart being broken down by our hero. Instead of showing us these walls been razed by cheesy, mushy romance, the director and screenwriter think it better to show us the rubble of these walls and have us draw our own conclusions as to how and why they fell.
I could forgive bad writing and direction if the chemistry between the love interests was entertaining and fun to watch; but sadly Mrs Right Guy fails in this department too. The acting across the board in this film is atrocious. This is especially disappointing when you consider the seasoned actors this film’s cast boasts. Names like Thapelo Mokoena and Robert Whitehead decide to collectively phone it in. Dineo Moeketsi was just not believable as the scorned Gugu. Her performance was lacking substance and even though her character was constantly preaching about the fact that she’s more than just a pretty face, Moeketsi proves herself to be nothing more than an aesthetically pleasing vista on screen. This is true of all her co-stars in fact. I like Thando Thabethe’s radio show and while she does have a face suitable for the big screen, her acting is better neither seen nor heard.
The substandard quality of acting in this film comes down to a larger problem in the South African film and entertainment industry. Our industry is filled with a plethora of Jack-of-all-trades and masters-of-none. Because the industry is still in its infancy, it isn’t financially viable to have a single occupation. This leads to people’s job descriptions having titles such as model, actress, singer, presenter, radio DJ etc etc. Now diversification of your talent is great because there are several people who shine in multiple fields; unfortunately numerous South African celebrities have diversification without the necessary talent. This leads to films casting people based on their credentials as a well-known celebrity instead of their skills as an actor. I understand the notion behind this practice because film studios are banking on the hype around someone’s name to increase ticket sales but that kind of thinking is only going to be beneficial in the short-term. If you keep casting people based on hype and producing bad movies, eventually your audience will dwindle because no one wants to see a bad movie.
Another problem I had with this film was its abysmal sound-editing. There are several sections in the film where actor’s voices sounded dubbed and the video isn’t in sync with the audio. Also the score sounded like it was clipped on to the movie at the last minute and didn’t sound natural at all. These are really rudimentary mistakes that need to be phased out if local filmmaking is ever going to truly improve.
Overall, Mrs Right Guy is ALL WRONG. The acting is horrible, the writing is lazy and lacks consistency, and the direction was sloppy and fails to bring the film together as a harmonious piece. As South Africans we have a responsibility to support local art but we also have a right to demand better quality from that art. I wouldn’t recommend seeing this but if we don’t support local then it will never get better. 2/10
9 thoughts on “Mrs Right Guy Review”
Ja eish the sound was HORRIBLE. Naturally recorded sound bounces off the environment but these people sounded like they were in a plane that was not moving. It was heavily edited like Leon Schuster movies to come across as sounding proper than real.
South African cinema is known to improve in one department and lack in the other. Just can’t have the perfect formula. The entertainment industry is bullied by commerce. Not talent. Not even raw and acceptable talent. So they have to put known faces for a project to gross. Which I don’t support at all.
Like they did with Ayanda, the ending scene needed much more to work. This isn’t an intelligent film. Like you said. It’s not Birdman or Enemy.
But Dumile did break Gugu’s walls…he was charming and charismatic. Joe won the girl because he was the better man. I also felt that Joe did not learn anything in the film. No progress in his inner character. The dubbing of the voices is unforgivable. This is what I meant when I said that it’s as if there must be at least something else wrong with a film if the story is cutting edge or if the CGI are impressive.
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Another problem is SOUTH AFRICANS like experimenting too much. That’s why the sound was bad. Some Smart Alec probably went like “Lemme try this. I bet they’ll like it.”
And look what happened.
I’ve heard only bad things about this film but I still want to check it out for a bit of an unusual reason. I was at film school with Lehasa Moloi and I’m curious to see how far he’s come as an actor since I last saw him.
Well that is good reason. As you can tell, I didn’t like this movie but I think we need to support local art for it to improve.
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I like what you said that in the long run people won’t support local movies because of how poor the acting is. The sound also broke my heart it was like I was watching MZANSI Magic.
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Hahahaha yeah, the sound was a disaster. SA films are getting better though so there’s reason for hope
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So we are just not gonna talk about Dineo’s weave? *Cringes*
Mrs. Right Guy was not a good movie. I didn’t like the fact that half of the movie was subtitled and then they were speaking English on the other half in the middle of the scene in the middle of the sentences. Why would they do something like that ? The actress her hair went from all the way down to her back long and thick to real real short in just three and a half years; that was a bad decision. We never did find out how to movie ended . Did he sign the contract? Did she quit her job? Did they get married? I would’ve ended it with a wedding at the end and everybody partying that would’ve been better than everyone looking off in space. So, there was absolutely no ending in this movie. It was just a waste of my time to watch that movie and a waste of time for the people who acted in the movie. A movie should have a real good beginning/introduction, body/Middle and conclusion/end. Ask me or someone for Help next time. “May God Be with You and Bless You with a good Oscar winning Movie in the Future but Please don’t give up!! in Jesus Name Amen “. This is good criticism.
Typo (to) we never knew how the movie ended