Verdict: 2.5 / 5
Co-produced between South African filmmakers Dumi Gumbi and Cati Weinek, and US-based director and producer Samad Davis, with Love By Chance you can expect a South African love story infused with some Atlanta flavour. With authenticity being refreshing, you’ll be pleased to know that this romcom is a tall glass of water.
Chance (Atandwa Kani) and Baily (Altovise Lawrence) are two aspiring actors from South Africa who make their way to the land of opportunity to kick-start their careers in black Hollywood. Through all the hardships of auditioning, financial misfortune, and rejection after rejection, they find each other and the comfort that comes with being together. It all seems to be a match made in Hollywood heaven until egos become inflamed and jealousy rears its ugly head.
You cannot fault Atandwa Kani’s impact in Love By Chance. Not just because he has mastered the art of acting, but also of his unapologetic South African persona while steering clear of being an embarrassing cliché. With leading lady Altovise Lawrence taking command of every scene, it is no wonder why this Wits graduate won Top Actor SA. The world should not underestimate the talent that is Ms. Lawrence as she tied the whole movie together, and is the one to watch in the industry.
Love By Chance hits the ground running from the absolute start, with no time wasted from one narrative to the other. Should you enjoy the plot of your stories to move quickly then you will appreciate this aspect. Just be warned that overall the whole movie feels like it is being rushed to the prominent moments that induce spine-chilling emotions.
With the star quality that is in both Kani and Lawrence, it is a tad uneasy to watch the pair working together with little to no chemistry between them. Will you accept the individual characters portrayed? Absolutely. Will you accept that they are a couple? Not so much.
The cinematography is not the best and do expect some of the characters to overact just a crumb. Unfortunately, this gives the film a low budget feel.
Love By Chance is overall an enjoyable movie, and in case you still had any doubt Denise Zimba is a natural and a joy just to watch (as usual).