“Falling out of love is easy. Finding the way back is hard,” reads the slogan of The Jakes Are Missing. In this case, however, the Jakes just needed to step away from their big city life, to reassess and rekindle the broken relationships.
Simon (Mpho Sebeng) witnesses a murder and is seen fleeing the scene by the perpetrators who assume he has what they came for. Now a target, the Jakes are put into immediate protective custody in a small ‘churchy’ town called Pumpkin Valley.
A town mayor Reverent Reynolds (Darlington Michaels) greets them with open arms and many hallelujahs. The curious town folk gather to see who the newcomers are. Under the alias Banks, Donald (Pope Jerrod) is greeted with home cooked meals from the neighborhood women who find him dashing. This is a saving grace as Janice (Mampho Brescia) hasn’t cooked for her family in years – the perks of mansion living. Unimpressed, Janice decides to visit the local hair salon, while Simon is over the moon because his music class has the prettiest girl in town, and Donald is eager to make the most of their stay.
So follow a lot of stereotypes;
The assumption that the American is just here to change things and has to prove himself to town planner Mr. Tumbleweed (Dirk Scholtz).
The career-driven city woman who looks down upon the locals.
The nosy local who judge her (“we don’t do fake”), while saying Amen and Hallelujah in the same breath.
The incompetent and gullible ‘thugs’ sent to find the Jakes for further comedic relief.
While Simon is swooning over the reverent’s daughter, Page (Nomzamo Mbatha), sweet romance blossoms over his musical composition and her singing voice. This is a sure contrast to his parents whom he’s convinced are on the verge of divorce. But the lovely Grace (Abigail Kubeka) takes Janice under her wing to remind her the value of family and marriage.
It is up to Janice to decide if she will make an effort and mend her broken relationship with Donald, who clearly still loves her. And let her son be his own man, and not impose her dreams for his future upon him.
The Jakes Are Missing feels very American and it is uncertain if it will share the same favor with the South African market. Yet, it is a pleasant light hearted film that the whole family could enjoy. The stock characters are forgiven by the ensemble of actors who make it worth watching.
Rating – 2.5/5
Cast: Mampho Brescia, Pope Jerrod, Mpho Sebeng, Dirk Stoltz, Darlington Michaels
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Age Restriction: PG
Studio: Figjam Entertainment
Running Time: 91 Minutes