The highlight of the entire movie had to be, without a doubt, the ‘electric slide’ dance by the cast and crew. The moment was of course reminiscent of Emem Isong’s “Reloaded” from five years ago. The only difference is that five years later this time watching it there’s no emotion attached, no fervour, just glee at the fact that the movie is finally over.
The movie follows the lives of five couples, each with their own drama, that all seems to culminate at the Le Meridian: there is the spy/thief and her spy/thief counterpart, the newlywed couple whose relationship seems to have lost its spark, the lady who is hopelessly in love with her boss, the older woman dating the younger man, and the hotel maid who falls in love with a guest.
The movie is mostly fluff and simply comes off as a paid advert for ‘Le Meridian Hotel’ or tourism in Nigeria as a whole. The first thing you notice about the movie asides the ensemble cast and the beautiful set, is the editing. It strikes you as a cut and paste job from the beginning and it reinforces this as the movie goes on.
As I said earlier, the movie has an ensemble cast what some would deem the creme-de-la-creme of Nollywood. What with the parade of A-listers like Genevieve, Ramsey, Ini, and Monalisa, ex-models (still models? I get confused) like Uti Nwachukwu, Alexx Ekubo and Bryan Okwara, and certified foreign-accent baring people like Bobby Obodo and Beverly Naya, how could it possibly go wrong?
Except it does! It’s even more depressing to know that it goes wrong despite the great names. Watching some of our ‘solid’ actors come on screen in this movie and present whatever it is they presented, was a bit disappointing especially considering what we know they are capable of.
To a certain extent, it’s almost as if all the actors in this movie read the script and thought ‘there seems to be a lot going on in this movie so maybe if I don’t put in a 100% no one will notice’. All well and good! The only problem is it seems that every single member of the cast had the same genius idea. Hence we had Ramsey in a scene ‘flirting’ with a lady who is doing everything within her strength to channel some sort of accent that comes off as a blend between Irish and British, and our darling Ramsey is mirroring this rubbish. Then there’s Genevieve putting in absolutely no effort whatsoever and just going through the drill. Then again her past couple of movies have been the exact same role, so yes she does the stern-faced-boss-lady well, practice makes near-perfect, but she does not convince with that window jumping, bushes trotting, computer code cracking jamboree.
At the end of the day, it seems like actors are pulling out their absolute worst for this movie. It’s a known fact that Beverly Naya doesn’t have a single acting bone in her body, but how does one explain Bobby Obodo’s performance? Shall we just call it a case of reaching lower than yourself and falling in the process? I mean you know there’s a problem when Bryan Okwara seems like a better actor than Bobby Obodo. Speaking of which, I cannot fault Mr. Okwara’s performance in this movie – well, at least not in light of his past work.
I must commend Ini Edo and Uru Eke who seemed like the only ones putting any effort into this movie. Bishop was his usual funny self, Alexx’s supposed comic relief wasn’t doing it for me, and Monalisa Chinda was the butt of the entire shindig. At the end of the movie I felt like I myself had been in a relationship with Ms. Chinda, I was sick and tired of hearing her nag. At the same time I also felt like I was in a relationship with Alexx cause his childishness was beginning to irk me.
As a whole, the movie has some pretty decent storylines but way too much was happening such that those who were writing the script seemed to have gotten confused somewhere in there, the director got confused and the cast was even more confused. The Maid in Manhattan storyline is explored here again, mildly, for the second time in Nollywood with Ini and Bryan, but I wouldn’t mind watching that on its own with better direction and a clearer script. I would have absolutely adored a full movie on the love story between Ramsey and Uru. And whilst some of the stories could stand well on their own, others just fall flat on their faces, the attempt at reenacting a Nollywood version of ‘Entrapment’ with Uti and Genevieve was an absolutely unconvincing failure, then there’s the completely unnecessary story between Monalisa and Alexx.
I will give the movie props for eye candy. The sets were gorgeous, the outfits were gorgeous, the cast was gorgeous, heck the publicity for the movie was gorgeous, the movie just wasn’t. Watching the movie itself you can tell that someone ‘winged it’, much attention to detail was lacking in many different aspects especially with Ini’s character. How exactly does one explain her hair, nails and look with a maid salary? Am I supposed to believe Genevieve is a thief just because she enters a room (that is on the first floor oh) via the window? And what exactly was Ramsey doing at the wedding? By the way, what happens with Beverly and Bobby in the end? Why is the tag still on Genevieve’s dress in the beginning?