'Fanie Fourie's Lobola' - Movie Review

I saw this on the library shelf and became curious about what "Lobola" meant. It turns out to be the price the groom pays the bride's family to be allowed to marry the bride - and the price is traditionally paid in cows. I watched this at least in part as an education in South African culture - and I certainly got that. I was also to learn that "Fanie" is in fact the male involved, not the woman as I'd expected. Fanie (played by Eduan van Jaarsveldt) is a decent guy, but also a bit of a goofball, a bit of a redneck - he lives and works in his mother's very large garage, creating car art with the help of the family employee Petrus (Yule Masiteng).

The dialogue veers between English, Afrikaans, and Zulu throughout the movie - and the producers decided that they would subtitle the Afrikaans and Zulu (whether you wanted it or not - it's burned in), and not the English (whether you wanted it or not). Which was unfortunate, as some of the English was heavily accented ... But that's a minor issue with the DVD.

Fanie isn't very good with women, and at his brother's bachelor party he's dared to ask a girl out. That girl is the beautiful Dinky (Zethu Dlomo), who initially rejects him but returns with a counter-proposal: she'll go as his date to his brother's wedding if he'll come to lunch at her place to act as a date in front of her father.

This is a romantic comedy, so you know where this ends up. But they have a pretty tough road ahead of them as his family is staid (and somewhat racist) Afrikaans, and hers is Zulu. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the humour: I expected to miss some of it because these are two cultures I haven't got a clue about, but either I didn't miss much or there was just a lot more to enjoy. I found the acting decent, and the movie incredibly charming and quite funny. I hesitate to recommend it only because it's going to be hard to find for most people.