Thando Thabethe as Zinhle Malinga with Lungile Radu as her love interest Nathi in a scene from the local rom-com, Love Lives Here.

Zinhle Malinga (Thando Thabethe) is a romance novelist who also believes in the idea of a holistic and beautiful love.

She, however, seems to have attracted the bottom of the barrel Kwena Mthiyane (Andile Gumbi), who cheats on her and leaves her devastated.

Close to giving up on love, she meets Nathi (Lungile Radu), a Kasi boy, who despite her initial misgivings seems to be the man she has been waiting for... until the pair find they have disagreements about what matters to them the most.

The journey leading to how they survive the mess is probably one of the more important things about the film.

The film is beautiful.

The rolling aerial shots of Durban beaches make the idea of living in eThekwini extremely appealing. It also positions itself as the quintessential rom-com, where the guy looks bad but is actually good. There are many misfits thrown into the mix, ensuring the laughs aren’t forced. It also includes a damsel in distress and explores the stereotypical views about love - until the plot twist that takes place in the middle of the film.

I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of the cultural aspect in the film through the lobola negotiations.

It was a truthful and relateable inclusion because most cosmopolitan young people are still quite attached to cultural practices.

In a scene where Radu’s character Nathi performs the traditional isiZulu dance indlamu, it’s easy to spot that for a chunk of his life he was a city boy. He was, however, a delight to watch.

In the leading role, Thabethe portrays Zinhle, the charming author turned nerd, so beautifully that she is utterly believable. She brings to the character an allure that draws viewers in.

You want to cry with her when she’s disappointed and celebrate with her when everything seems to go the way she wants it to.

Thankfully, the film has enough comedic relief and over-the-top characters to add balance, otherwise, it would be irredeemably cheesy.

Whether you’re a cynic or a romantic, Love Lives Here provides a little something for everybody.

"Love Lives" Here is now in cinemas nationwide.

IOL