Comedy of errors in Potato Potahto
As dark and depressing the topic of divorce can be, Ghanaian director Shirley Frimpong-Manso brings out the funny side of it.
The new comedy Potato Potahto, starring award winning Nigerian star OC Ukeje and Ghana's much loved Joselyn Dumas, premieres at the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) on Sunday and is sure to tickle the audiences.
It tells the story of a divorced couple, Tony and Lulu, who share their matrimonial house, setting off a series of love-hate situations, jealousy, competition and awkwardness as other family members get drawn in and start picking sides.
They are both making decent money and can afford to live independently, but find it hard to let go of their mansion that they now share as coinhabitants. It's a set up fertile with a comedy of errors, missteps and confrontations.
This is the second time Ukeje and Dumas team up and the chemistry is astounding.
Even as we settle down to talk about the film it's evident that theirs is both on and off screen.
Ukeje who celebrates his 36th birthday tomorrow, says he was drawn to the script by the aspect of a relationship that plays out after a divorce.
For Dumas it's a storyline that resonates with everybody and the audience has to weigh whether it is the house or love keeping the couple together.
Interestingly South African divorce statistics issued this week paint a bleak picture with over 45% of marriages under 10 years ending in divorce.
Ukeje, however, says with cultural stigma and the belief that no matter how hard or unhappy, one has to stay in the marriage, the West African experience is different.
Dumas says she looks forward to her first experience at DIFF. "We make films in our various countries and it's great to share them with the continent, meet other actors and explore collaborations," she says.
"We don't have government support in our countries and it gets expensive to make a film."
Despite the lack of resources, Dumas says she has managed to record a 13-episode talk show that will be broadcast across the continent.
Ukeje, on the other hand, continues to solidify his place as the bankable leading man. He will star in movie Catch.er where he plays a police inspector.
"This is a great movie which tells our story that as much as we are different, we are still the same," Dumas shares.