Unfortunately for this film I have been travelling about Greece since the early 1970’s. So when I sat down and watched “Good Life” I was looking forward to a great film as after all what could be wrong about the dear protagonist Olive going to her mother’s ancestral home in Greece after a break up with her boyfriend in Cape Town.
The film for a Greekophile like me was a production that lacked authenticity. It seems it was shot in Cape Town South Africa in a recreated Greek Village where there are no Greek actors and supposed Greeks speak to each other mostly in English and when they speak Greek their lines are said in poor Greek. It may fool the uninitiated but not me. It rather reminds me of a hackneyed Harlequin Romance film. Now for those who don’t understand Greek the poorly spoken Greek may be irrelevant but to me it sunk the movie! South Africa had at one point a large Greek population so one might think get some actors that speak Greek!
Olive Papadopoulos (Erica Wessels) is a 35-year-old South African oral hygienist feeling the sting of a failed relationship who decides to return to the Greek ancestral home to escape sadness. But in this “recreated” Greek village the Greeks are not Greeks but actors pretending to be Greeks and they speak English to each other more than in poor Greek! You can’t fool me! They are in Cape Town on a set!
I do like the ripping satire of dealing with Greek bureaucrats as I have been there and done that. Smart filmmaking there. Then Olive’s relationship with Jet a young Albanian boy shunned by villagers is accurate. Albanians flooding into Greece after the fall of Enver Hoxha’s bizarre Albanian communist state were not greeted with open arms.
Yes the film does follow “Zorba the Greek” and “Never on a Sunday” in terms of Greece transforming those who visit it but in this case they are visiting Cape Town South Africa and not Greece.
The film will be showing in select theatres on April 15th and on demand.
You can fool many with this but not me. A disaster of a film for authenticity. Thank goodness for Wessels’ strong performance (language issues aside).
You can see the trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC5xG-NSuC4
RKS Film Rating 51/100.