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Is there a need for Happiness Is A Four Letter Word sequel?

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Happiness Is A Four Letter Word is set to return with a sequel titled Happiness Ever After, whose storyline is set to pick up five years later.

In 2020, it was confirmed that Netflix had commissioned the sequel to popular South African movie, Happiness Is A Four Letter Word. The news was generally welcomed by the public. However, considering that the original film was an adaptation of a book of the same name, written by Nozizwe Cynthia Jele, the need for a sequel that picks up five years later has been questioned by some.

The first movie’s premise was detailed as, “Perfectionist Nandi seems to have the New South African Dream life within her grasp, black female partner in a major firm, marriage, the perfect house – but it all goes up in flames a few months before the wedding. With her friends Zaza and Princess, Nandi will have to find out what truly makes her happy and then fight to get it.”

This was inspired by and derived from Jele’s book, which was released as a single well-rounded story. This means that the sequel, as it has been confirmed, will be entirely screenwriter, Busisiwe Ntintili’s interpretation of where the characters should be five years late. Moreover, it has been confirmed that besides the lead characters, only some of the original cast members will return.

All of this suggests that the narrative and the world will be different from that of the first movie. This perpetuates the belief that quality and successful movies of the past sometimes do not need a sequel, as it might taint the memory of the first movie. A recent example of this was with the sequel of Coming to AmericaComing 2 America. The sequel received mixed reviews and, to an extent, diminished the cultural significance of the first movie.

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