Fans were elated when Netflix announced the sequel to “Happiness is a Four-Letter Word” in March.
When the movie was released in 2016, it was declared a box-office hit. Written by Busisiwe Ntintili and based on Nozizwe Cynthia Jele’s novel of the same name, fans fell in love with the journey of the women protagonists.
Zaza (Khanyi Mbau) served life goals as a trophy wife. Nandi (Mmabatho Montsho), who is a lawyer and perfectionist, was juggling work while planning her upcoming wedding. Princess (Renate Stuurman), the owner of a trendy art gallery, preferred to date as and when she wished.
Of course, no matter how seemingly perfect their lives appeared to be, it was anything but – especially when dealing with issues of loneliness, infidelity and meddlesome family members.
So what can fans expect from “Happiness Ever After”?
Well, Mbau and Stuurman are back, with Thabang Moleya taking the director’s seat once again.
This time around, Ayanda Halimana is tasked with telling a re-imagined story, which encompasses the themes of sisterhood and friendship, while staying true to the heart of the first film.
In an earlier interview with Phil Mphela, the two actresses teased the upcoming release.
Stuurman said: “We wanted to take audiences somewhere new, to elevate them and not to just be where you left them. The pressure, to move them five years on, is on all of us – the actors, the producers, the directors, the crew, everyone. We’re all trying our best to take our audience somewhere new this time around.”
That the sequel was going to be shown on the leading global streaming service put a smile on their faces, as it expands the film’s reach exponentially.
Mbau described their excitement as a “Master KG moment”.
She added: “The sequel lives independently from the book, but obviously with some of the old characters returning to bring more drama and more sizzle in the sequel.”
Richard Lukunku reprises his role as Leo, too.
Happiness Ever After also includes new – but well-known faces – as Nambitha Ben-Mazwi, Yonda Thomas, Daniel Effiong, Xolile Tshabalala, Nandi Nyembe, and Loyiso MacDonald, join the cast.
Creator Bongiwe Selane commented: “I'm super-excited about ‘Happiness Ever After’, and being able to continue the uber-relatable story of sisterhood, friendship and love.
“Sequels are always difficult because the pressure is that much higher, but they also offer something different and exciting – and the opportunity to land the film on a global service like Netflix is its own reward.
“It is my sincere hope that the film resonates with audiences, and they fall back in love with their favourites and the new faces too.”
Aside from the identifiable issues, viewers will also enjoy the humour that’s been added to offset the drama.