Restore your faith in love with these romantic movies

Tumi Morake as Noni and Fulu Mugovhani as Dineo in the deliciously funny home-grown romcom, “Seriously Single”. Picture: Supplied

Tumi Morake as Noni and Fulu Mugovhani as Dineo in the deliciously funny home-grown romcom, “Seriously Single”. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 13, 2024


I’m a sucker for a good romance.

Yes, I’ve watched all the timeless offerings – “Titanic”, “The Bodyguard”, “Pretty Woman”, “The Notebook”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, “Notting Hill”, “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, “You’ve Got Mail”, “Eat Pray Love” and so on –but I’m always looking for more to sweep me off my feet.

If nothing else, it must at least be fun and make me forget my stress for 2 hours.

As such, I’m sharing the movies that I enjoyed. They are new-ish. But they are worth enjoying with your girlfriends or your partner.

Seriously Single

This is without a doubt one of my all-time favourite home-grown romcoms.

The storyline is quirky, relatable, engaging and immensely entertaining.

Set in Johannesburg, it follows the journey of Dineo (Fulu Mugovhani), a social media manager. She’s hot, sassy and an incurable romantic. Then there is her sceptical, commitment-phobic bestie, Noni (Tumi Morake).

Noni doesn’t believe in having sex with a guy more than once. As she puts it, “I’m a chartered accountant living her best life”.

Well, she does so … until she meets Max.

The story is told over several months, kicking off with the month of love. It’s Valentine’s Day and Dineo is looking forward to a romantic night.

But her love bubble is pricked by the arrival of a package (make that several) from her boyfriend.

An oblivious Dineo gets her colleague Pam (played by Tiffany Barbuzano) to live-stream her opening the “gift” – only to realise the folly of her decision as she was being dumped.

This is a movie that every girl (and guy) can relate to, on some level.

“Seriously Single” is as much a journey of self-fulfilment as it is about love. And there are plenty of laughs along the way.

Happiness Ever After

This is the sequel to “Happiness is a Four-Letter Word”. The premise follows three BFFs as they navigate life’s curveballs when it comes to love and those “it’s complicated” scenarios.

Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, Khanyi Mbau and Renate Stuurman in “Happiness Ever After“. Picture: Supplied

The storyline picks up five years later when much has changed in their lives.

While Princess (Renata Stuurman) has settled into a happy family situation with her partner, Maxwell (Daniel Effiong), who is a doting substitute father to her daughter Thandi, there is unease lurking beneath the idyllic façade.

Then there is Zaza (Khanyi Mbau), slay queen extraordinaire. While mourning the loss of her husband, her life is thrown into disarray by the arrival of her mother-in-law (played by veteran actress Nandi Nyembe) and her sister-in-law Fakazile (Xolile Tshabalala).

This brings us to florist Zimkhita (Nambitha Ben-Mazwi), who is also Princess and Zaza’s yoga instructor. Although deeply wounded by the fact that her ex is tying the knot, she believes in love.

Viewers will enjoy this movie. The different struggles of the film’s protagonists serve as a cautionary tale as well.

And it’s got such a fabulous cast.

Under the Tuscan Sun

I won’t lie, I’ve watched this movie countless times. And I think the location had a lot to do with why I fell in love with it.

Diane Lane and Raoul Bova in a scene from Under the Tuscan Sun.

The story starts with writer Frances Mayes, who, after finding out her husband has been unfaithful, is gifted a ticket to Tuscany by her concerned best friend.

Hesitant at first, she takes her friend up on the offer and ends up buying a dilapidated villa in gorgeous Tuscany. While picking up the pieces of her life, and fixing up her new home, she finds love with a local.

Diane Lane is magnificent in this film.

Me Before You

Be warned, this one is a tearjerker. It centres on Louisa “Lou” Clark (Emilia Clarke), who is hired as a caregiver for Will Traynor (Sam Claflin). He was once a high-flying banker and active sportsman until a motorcycle accident left him a tetraplegic.

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in a scene from ‘Me Before You’.

Despite the two coming from different worlds, they help each other heal in different ways when Lou accompanies Will to his ex-girlfriend’s wedding to his former best friend.

This film takes the viewer on an emotional roller-coaster.

The Photograph

If ever you doubted destiny, I think this film will restore your faith in it.

Also, if you are a fan of Issa Rae, you need to check it out.

LaKeith Stanfield and Issa Rae in a scene from “The Photograph”.

The story centres on Michael (LaKeith Stanfield), a reporter who interviews a man named Isaac to chat about his life post-Hurricane Katrina.

But the focus of the story gets derailed when he stumbles across a photograph of a woman named Christina Eames and becomes invested in the story of how Isaac and her met.

Meanwhile, in New York, Mae (Christina’s daughter), an assistant curator, inherits a safety box. In it, she finds two letters – one address to her and the other to her father.

Two love stories come to the fore in the film. One involves Mae’s mother and the other Mae, who, through circumstances, meets and falls for Michael.

This is a beautiful story, which unfolds poetically, too.

If the films spark your interest, be sure to also watch “The Fault in our Stars”, “Shotgun Wedding”, “Ticket to Paradise” and “The Next 365 Days”.