The perfect union of family anarchy and laughter in ‘How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding’

The perfect union of family anarchy and laughter in ‘How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding’


If you haven’t watched How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding, do yourself a favour and catch it soon.

It’s a refreshing, relatable rom-com with mayhem unfolding as two families gather for what should be a happy union. It is anything but.

The series kicks off with Tumi Sello (Busisiwe Lurayi) arriving for the wedding of her younger sister Beauty (Thando Thabethe). Personality-wise, these two are like chalk and cheese. Despite their differences, they have a close bond.

In the build-up to Beauty’s big day, Tumi inadvertently causes a major upset between the Sellos and the affluent Twala family and it threatens to ruin what should be a joyful event.

In a recent virtual chat, Thabethe and Lurayi were happy to relive the set experience and expanded on the strength of series and their characters.

Interestingly, this is also their first Netflix project.

Thabethe said: “Finally, 195 million subscribers, nothing to complain about.”

Her co-star added: “Yes, aren’t we so thrilled. I was absolutely sold by the boldness in the writing and the relatability of a story like this. As performers, we are always looking to find characters; having to find spaces of references, whereas, with this, it was about letting go of your knowns, trusting a beautiful script and just really referencing who you are. It’s an everyday story.”

“For me, it’s the authenticity that sold it,” said Thabethe, “If you watch it, doesn’t matter where in South Africa you are from or where in the world you are from, the sense that we get to tell our stories the way we want to tell our stories to the world, it’s magic.

“I have done a series before. In fact, my first one, My Perfect Family, was with the Ramaphakela siblings. So it’s amazing. This particular project was very special when you take into mind the whole Covid situation. We had to be quarantined for six weeks, which means we were able to create real true bonds, which we were able to breathe into the series.”

In the series, directed by Johnny Barbuzano, Tumi comes across as a bit of a black sheep of the family.

Thabethe laughed reflecting on how true that is for everyone in real-life, too.

Lurayi said: “What I loved about Tumi is that once you break her down, you see how layered and beautifully complex she is. She is refreshingly flawed and it’s wonderful to journey with her. You watch how she wants to find a relationship with her sister, with her family, with her friends and, in that, she stands so boldly for her truth.”

“I think she stands her ground. Her family decides what she should be,” Thabethe added. “Unlike Beauty, she goes against the norms and fights for what she believes is right, which I think is a beautiful thing.

“I imagine when you have a sister who is so bold and stands up for what she believes in, everyone sees that as a bad and negative thing. The pressure is on you to do things by the book. As a younger sister, it’s a heavy burden to carry all your life. You see how she (Beauty) struggles with it.”

During the chat, I couldn’t help but marvel over how sister-like the two were. They had each other’s back when expanding on their character’s and sang the praises of the other.

As for Tumi’s seemingly non-committal disposition, the actress said: “When you journey on a discovery of self, you are searching for a love that validates, a love that gives comfort without taking away from you. I can’t say that she is running away and she is non-committal. She wants to have a certain truth that is relayed through her love for people…”

This series boasts a dream cast of Clementine Mosimane, Yonda Thomas, Sandile Mahlangu, Motlatsi Mafatshe, Saint Seseli, Charmaine Mtinta, Rami Chuene, Desmond Dube and Keketso Semoko with special appearances by Kate Normington and Seputla Sebogodi.

Having watched two episodes already, I can honestly say this series will have you in stitches. There is such wonderful chemistry between the stellar cast that you almost feel like a guest at this wedding. It’s the perfect stress-reliever for 2020!

“How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding” is currently streaming on Netflix.

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