Somer Son (2015)

A couple looking to re-spark their marriage finds themselves and their friends on a wacky misadventure in this South African rom-com.

Pieter and Sonja are not having a great marriage as they once had. Pieter has focused more on his job and with a new boss who constantly puts him to work, he has done the impossible. He puts his career first and unbeknownst to Sonja, has had a vasectomy. Sonja, in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, asks Pieter to go on a vacation with her to Mozambique. He reluctantly agrees and the duo brings Sonja’s best friend Mia, who brings her “choice of the week”, Burger. The group breaks down and find an abandoned house to spend the night in.

The next morning, the house’s owners, Richie and Terry, catches the group and learning of their situation, decide to take them. As Pieter and Sonja turn to their new friends for advice on how to save their marriage, Mia finds herself caught in the middle of a love triangle between Burger and a local boy, Josh. When Pieter and Sonja feel like their marriage is on the brink of ending, they soon learn some things that may make them be happy again, or possibly destroy the bond they once had.

This South African rom-com may look like a group of friends just sitting around and talking. However, the focus on a potentially failing marriage is a bit reminiscent of Why Did I Get Married along with a chat about society and how one thinks they can gain acceptance within a certain brand. In a way, it is social commentary. However, ultimately, this is a romantic comedy about a failing marriage, a love triangle, and a couple who tend to be the saving graces for the former.

Reynard Slabbert and Juanita De Villiers show some really good, emotional, and at times, fun chemistry as the central couple Pieter and Sonja. The reason I mention fun here is that in one scene, in which Pieter and Sonja attempt to talk by being the other person, cross-dress. Sonja wears jean shorts and a long sleeve plaid shirt while Pieter is wearing lipstick and a red dress. This scene was meant to show a side of couples’ therapy but comes out as more distractingly funny.

Bok van Blerk and Hanna Grobert are excellent in their roles of Richie and Terry, who start out reluctant due to the fact that Pieter and company broke into their home. However, once they understand what’s going on, they offer to help the couple and come out as new friends and saving graces. In other types of films, this would lead into something sinister. With what we have here, this shows a level of humanity and friendship that helps Pieter and Sonja strengthen their bond.

While the focus mainly is on Pieter and Sonja, we have a subplot of Sonja’s BFF Mia, played by Mia-Anne O’Kennedy, bringing one guy to the vacation but finds herself the object of another guy, Josh, played by Danie Putter, causing a rift with Burger. When things go too far, enter Reine Swart’s Cerike (Terry’s niece), who like Richie and Terry, serves as a saving grace to help someone out of a situation that could make them look insanely ridiculous. And Swart’s introduction scene is pretty funny as it is reminiscent of what’s happened lately with certain people in the news and their mishaps with video chat software.

Somer Son is more than just a conversation between friends and new friends, but a look at a chance for a couple to keep their marriage intact with some laughs and emotions all around. It’s a pretty fun film to check out.

WFG RATING: B

Afrikaans Films presents a Clinton Lubbe Productions film in association with GreenFilmSA. Director: Clinton Lubbe. Producer: Clinton Lubbe. Writers: Luan Jacobs, Clinton Lubbe, and Zandeli Meyer; story by Lubbe and Jan-Lourens van der Merwe. Cinematography: Clinton Lubbe. Editing: Jan-Lourens van der Merwe.

Cast: Reynard Slabbert, Juanita De Villiers, Bok van Blerk, Hanna Grobert, Mia-Anne O’Kennedy, Danie Putter, Reine Swart.

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