Painfully funny

2010-02-13 00:00

IN DESPERATE need of a good laugh, I dragged my tired body off to watch the premier of Jozi, a hilarious movie about a young man’s search for meaning in life.

The movie, which is set in Johannesburg, tells the story of James (Carl Beukes), a successful comedy writer who loses his ability to be funny. His girlfriend, Allison (Jena Dover) is on the verge of leaving him and his parents have moved to Australia. Life sucks for James, who then turns to drugs to survive the urban jungle he lives in.

After a series of disasters, including James throwing his producer’s laptop through a window, his worried friends admit him to a rehabilitation centre. After a torturous time at the centre, he escapes and returns to Johannesburg to reclaim his career, his girl and his sense of humour.

This movie is scarily real. Audiences will identify with James and his hatred for the city’s crime and potholes as well as its traffic-light salesmen, who force you to buy stuffed toys and feather dusters.

Producer Robbie Thorpe said he believed that the invention of laughter was the relief of danger, something that is dominant throughout the movie.

The characters are faced with real issues such as crime, unemployment and drug addiction.

However, they see the funny side of these problems and manage to rise above them.

“We tried to take the real world and then added humour to it. Comedy avoids the pain of life in some ways,” he said.

Besides the hilarious situations James gets himself into, there are times when he tries really hard to find his ability to love and laugh again.

Then he meets Brenda (Lindiwe Matshikiza), a beautiful stranger, who shows him the beauty of Johannesburg in a way he never could have imagined.

James then starts to write, and his life changes.

While the movie is a laugh-a- minute tale about a crazy man, his friends, paranoid parents and the quest to laugh and love again, it also sends a strong message that it is possible to be positive when you think your world is falling apart.

I left the cinema with sore sides from laughing so much. Jozi is guaranteed to have you in stitches and will leave you feeling inspired.

The movie opens on February 26.

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