Spling reviews Meisies Wat Fluit, Herb & Moon and Brittany Runs A Marathon as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Listen to podcast.
Good morning – welcome to Talking Movies, I’m Spling…
This week, we’re talking about a local romance drama, a Christmas family comedy drama and a quirky comedy drama.
Starting off with a film now on Showmax…
MEISIES WAT FLUIT
Henk and Sofia fell in love too soon, got married too soon and got divorced too soon.
Writer-Director: Johan Cronje
Stars: Leandie du Randt, Stiaan Smith and Geon Nel
– Smith and du Randt demonstrated their on-screen chemistry in the short film Gebles, a sharp comedy about a young man struggling to overcome self esteem issues.
– Transposing that chemistry into a feature-length film, Cronje has an opportunity to explore the magnetism in all its attraction and repulsion.
– Teasing out a “friends with benefits” relationship within the constraints of a couple who married too young, we get a dramatic cross-section of their insecurities and compulsions.
– Having directed Wonderlus, Cronje has shown his ability to craft films that sparkle with spontaneity, revel in coming-of-age cool and carried forth by committed performances.
– Meisies Wat Fluit reinforces this trademark style, bold in its independent spirit and sense of anything goes freedom.
– While subtle and nuanced, it’s finesse is offset by its shaggy handling in terms of its coarse language and offbeat comedy.
– It’s as if the film was written with Du Randt in mind, a vehicle to showcase her range of performance within the romance drama genre, tapping into some real emotion.
– Smith is so offhandedly charming that it’s difficult to hate him, turning in another fine performance and offsetting Du Randt’s fireworks with a more coolheaded approach.
– A fine ensemble with some good supporting performances, the film moves from swanky bars to apartment living and features some steamy scenes, which are surprisingly unusual for local films.
– Siphoning out the air of naïveté associated with many South African productions, Meisies Wat Fluit is a progressive drama that offers sharp dialogue that can become quite prickly.
– Counterbalancing this element are dashes of laugh-out-loud thirty-something comedy.
– In much the same way as the central relationship, there are things about the film that will attract and repel, giving it an alluring yet fractious quality.
A satisfactory 6 on the splingometer!
Moving on to another movie on Showmax…
HERB & MOON
When a rebellious grandfather finds out he won’t spend Christmas with his granddaughter, he ‘breaks out’ of his old age home to see her.
Director: Tim Greene
Cast: Robert Whitehead, Katherine Neethling and Keenan Arrison
– Is it even a Christmas movie if it doesn’t have a side order of schmaltz?
– Herb & Moon is a playful family comedy drama with charm and heart.
– Centred around a rebellious yet Santa-esque performance from Whitehead, this disarming little Christmas movie is every bit as fun as its eclectic soundtrack.
– A delightful tale about a grandfather escaping his retirement home to surprise his granddaughter, it’s also an adventure about seizing the day and overcoming differences for the greater good.
– Referencing Tolstoy as if he were Shakespeare, the screenplay is vibrant, quirky and thoughtful.
– Bringing a naïve, cartoonish and fun spirit, there’s an array of oddball characters who decorate this film like a Christmas tree.
– As far as Christmas movies go, it checks all the boxes offering a Christmas spirit tale that makes for easy-viewing, which will amuse and leave you with a good dose of feelgood this festive season.
A satisfactory 6 on the splingometer!
And finally a film on Amazon Prime…
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
A young woman decides to make positive changes in her life by training for the New York City Marathon.
Writer-Director: Paul Downs Colaizzo
Stars: Jillian Bell, Jennifer Dundas and Patch Darragh
– Some actors just have a magical screen quality that makes them instantly watchable.
– Thats the case with Jillian Bell, who manages to present a curious blend of strength and vulnerability in her role as Britney.
– Using quirky offbeat comedy as a shield she’s confronted with the harsh reality that she’s obese and wants to improve her health.
– A blend of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Run Fat Boy Run, this zippy comedy drama has an independent spirit and is based on a true story.
– Grappling with a young woman’s sense of identity, search for true love and attempts to overcome her body issues, it’s easy to empathise with her as she tries to get her life together.
– A compelling yet comic lead performance, entertaining dialogue and a zany mix of characters set this New York comedy drama apart.
– While far from perfect, much like its lead, there is much to appreciate in this often funny and touching triumph of the human spirit story.
– Setting goals, seeking self-improvement, trying to improve one’s situation and build relationships are noble aspirations that make Brittany Runs a Marathon a good choice ahead of setting those New Year’s resolutions.
A solid 7 on the splingometer!
So just to wrap up…
MEISIES WAT FLUIT… solid performances, lively writing and thoughtful direction guide this suave, nuanced, progressive yet problematic romance drama… A satisfactory 6!
HERB & MOON… a colourful, delightful, schmaltzy and feel-good Christmas adventure comedy drama for the whole family… A satisfactory 6!
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON… a sharp lead performance and independent spirit compels this zippy based-on-a-true-story comedy drama… A solid 7!
For more movie reviews, previous Talking Movies podcasts and upcoming Bingeing with Spling watch parties visit splingmovies.com.
And remember, Don’t WING it, SPL!NG it!