Van der Merwe comes to life on the big screen

POSTER: The teaser poster for the film, which will be released on July 28.

STRAP in and hold on tight to your stereotypes, because the butt of South Africa’s favourite jokes is coming to the big screen. Van der Merwe is a quirky new comedy about the underdog and will be released in cinemas nationwide on July 28.

In every country there is a person who is the butt of all jokes. In Ireland, it is Paddy. In Israel, it is Hymie and in South Africa, that person is Van der Merwe. This story is about him.

VAN DER MERWE: The main character is played by Rob van Vuuren.

Complete with his misconceptions, biases and characteristic inability to succeed, Van der Merwe. is sure to make you laugh, cry and, above all, cringe, as he attempts to right a grievous wrong, or make a fool of himself trying. With a loving wife, gorgeous daughter, a feisty father and a soon-to-be British son-in-law, you will be left believing in sheer luck, good or bad.

“I wanted to make a film about a single character, like Ace Ventura or Zoolander, but with a South African flavour. Van der Merwe. is part of our culture, a character we can all relate to. He has a history and a place in our hearts. Bringing him to life on the big screen is something a lot of people want to see,” says director and screenwriter Bruce Lawley about his debut feature film.

Set on a farm in South Africa, Van der Merwe (played by Rob van Vuuren) centres around Van’s daughter, Marike (Reine Swart), who returns home from a gap year in England with her new fiancé, George, a British medical student. This sets the scene for all sorts of problems and challenges. Not only does Van have to come to terms with the fact that his daughter is marrying an Englishman, but he is also pressured by his bossy, staunchly traditional father to put an end to the relationship.

WATCH: Van Der Merwe cast on Expresso

This puts him in a precarious situation with a difficult choice: risk the wrath of his father by condoning the wedding, or obey his father, whose approval he so desperately wants, and risk losing his daughter forever. When the family of the English fiancé arrives on the farm, the fireworks really begin as the clash of cultures results in a number of side-splitting incidents and hilarious situations, as we witness some classic Van der Merwe jokes played out in front of our eyes.

On a deeper level, the film is about overcoming differences, being true to oneself and about never giving up, no matter what the odds might be, according to Lawley.

Van der Merwe promises some truly funny laughs about family politics, awkward situations and living up to the Van der Merwe title.

The film will be distributed by Ster-Kinekor Entertainment.

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Monique van Wyk

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