Happiness Ever After (2021) Review: Solid Entertainer

Happiness Ever After is a romantic-drama movie directed by Thabang Moleya and starring Renate Stuurman, Khanyi Mbau, and Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, alongside other cast members. The movie is 99 minutes long and is a sequel to the 2016 movie Happiness is a Four-Letter Word which is based on the book of the same name by Cynthia Jele.

Netflix describes the movie as:

This sequel to “Happiness is a Four-Letter Word” finds Zaza, Princess and Zim living new chapters of their lives amid loss, family grudges and new love.

– Happiness Ever After review does not contain spoilers –

Happiness is a Four-Letter Word was a movie that really resonated with the masses. It’s a rom-com that focuses on women taking charge of their lives and discovering themselves. Of course, rich women but, you know. Either way, it’s always nice to watch a female-centric film especially since it’s about friendships more than anything else. More often than not, female friendships are ignored to focus on romantic relationships so it’s nice that that isn’t the case here. However, the movie is like the South African version of Sex and the City so people who haven’t watched the first instalment have something to compare it with.

So, Happiness Ever After starts after the events of the last film. Thus, as the movie starts you realise all of the things that are being said is easier said when you live in a mansion and buy designer stuff. Maybe this story of taking charge of your life is more suited when you can cry inside your Ferrari.

Happiness Ever After
Credit: SIVUYILE MATSILIZA / NETFLIX

Right off the bat, Happiness Ever After looks stunning. The production quality is excellent and everything looks spic and span. Thanks to the success of the last movie, this one got a bigger budget to splurge on. But, all’s good. Some exciting drama is just up the road here complete with a slightly controlling husband, some family money drama and a commitment phobia.

So, how deep and profound is this movie? Honestly, it is a bit. It does tackle some important topics and some emotional moments that are well done. Happiness Ever After, is, surprisingly, watchable and entertaining. There’s some slight misogyny that is cringy to watch like talks of marking territories and whatnot.

Also Read: Dexter: New Blood Episode 1 Review: New Life

Then there’s the cheating and steamy sex scenes. Well, woof. Listen, I am not for cheating, I am never ok with romantic depictions of cheating which try to tell the audience that’s tRuE lOvE – I can’t even. Princess’s life is a mess because her family is getting pulled this way and that. She tries to find a balance between the two parts of it, but somewhere down the line feels like she’s losing herself. I genuinely felt for her predicament, not so much for the other things though.

And then we have Zimkhitha. Heartbroken and not totally over her ex, she gets with Yonda who is the perfect definition of a manchild who thinks he knows everything. It is painful to watch her go through this because you want her to get therapy, dump this guy on the curb and run away while doing yoga. Yet, she constantly goes back to him and gets hurt over and over again.

Lastly, we have Zaza whose story arc is not as focused on as the other two’s. Widowed, she tries to balance her life and keep it steady and away from her sister-in-law. The latter feels like a bulldozing maniac who talks down to Zaza in her own home, which, honestly, is shocking. However, her taking charge moments feel flat and underexplored and leaves you wanting a bit more.

Happiness Ever After
Credit: SIVUYILE MATSILIZA / NETFLIX

The three women’s lives are quite well shown and there’s somewhat of a balance there. It’s interesting to watch and the movie does a good job at making it as spicy as possible. The drama is entertaining as heck and flows easily. The acting, throughout, is great and the three women, especially, have some great chemistry that is wonderful and quite heartwarming.

The background music is soothing and goes well with the story unfolding in front of us but doesn’t go overboard ever. So that’s thankful. However, the movie feels awfully rushed. The scenes all come and go so fast that it sometimes feels like whiplash. Before you’re able to take in something that has happened, something else gets piled on top of it and now you have to soak in information twice as fast.

Summing up: Happiness Ever After

At the end of Happiness Ever After, the three women find themselves. Is it the selves that the audience was expecting… well well. Regardless of the pros and cons, it’s an interesting and entertaining movie that will keep you hooked throughout. It tackles various familial issues and it doesn’t always tackle them the best, but the drama is almost worth it.

Happiness Ever After is streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: Netflix’s Swap Shop (2021) Review: Insightful Yet a Little Boring

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Happiness Ever After is a solid entertainer and the delicious drama is too good to not watch.

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