Christina Storm and Louw Venter in Alles Wat Mal Is


DIRECTOR: Darrell Roodt

CAST: Erica Wessels, Louw Venter, Meme Ditshego, Christina Storm, Chris de Clerq, Elzette Maarschalk, Jana Strydom


RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

RATING: 3 stars (out of 5)

Diane de Beer

HUBBY is in a stressful job with his feet hardly touching the ground and his head nowhere to be found, while you’re stranded at home with two toddlers no more difficult than any under-three-year-old, and yet, your life seems to have been put on hold.

This is the dilemma of Helena Joubert (Wessels), who feels as if her mind has been shut down except when it comes to an overblown imagination where her husband’s secret sexual desires are concerned.

It sounds ever so corny and much of it is, if it weren’t for the portrayals by Wessels as the frayed mother of two and Ditshego as her housekeeper, the direction by Darrell Roodt and a story that attempts to be more contemporary than is traditionally the case in these type of movies.

But it could have been pushed even more and from this team it would not have been unexpected. If you’re going to shift the goalposts with issues like the two best buddies, the madam mother and her black housekeeper and bring a blog (the internet!) into the equation, why not also turn the Christina Storm vamp into something more acceptable in this day and age. Some subtlety would have helped.

From the start, you feel the producers and everyone involved were trying to push Afrikaans rom-coms into a more contemporary mould. Those young blonde lasses with their batting eyelashes, the too-pretty boyfriends, the evil woman who makes trouble but finally trips herself up, it feels as if we’ve been watching these storylines for decades and decades.

This is such an interesting country with such interesting dynamics. It would be so much fun if this could be reflected more soberly in even lighthearted scripts. The housekeeper captured something of that but that’s almost counterbalanced by the caricature of Storm’s sex kitten.

It’s the dilemma of every woman starting a family with a young husband climbing the career ladder. She seems trapped between feeding times and trying to find some me-time without falling asleep while he is totally unaware of her backward slide because his career is so time-consuming.

There have to be some new storylines here which allow expectations to be met. Especially as they have come up with the blog, which opened up all kinds of new ideas, yet still doesn’t quite make that leap into the new millennium.

That’s why I’m still crossing my fingers.