After reading the title of this movie, here’s something I really didn’t expect to be saying at the end, “I really enjoyed that movie” and here’s why…
On seeing the title it doesn’t really pose as one to watch, on the contrary it seems like one to avoid. The movie Desperate Housegirls is not about housegirls doing what housegirls have done in every other Nollywood movie. This one is a bit different. It takes the romantic comedy approach and it’s just delightful to watch.
My initial apprehension was that there are really only two recognized actors in this movie: Ini Edo and Desmond Elliot; and even at that, they aren’t exactly actors that I would decide to watch a movie based solely on their involvement. But my apprehension was relegated to the background as soon as the movie started. Ok well that’s a bit of a lie, it was only relegated after that silly initial scene with all three girls doing a supposed catwalk to work.
Desperate Housegirls follows three girls who are trying to make it in the harsh Lagos climate. Ekemini, played by, Ini Edo gets the idea that they should quit their demeaning day job as waitresses at a mama-put and become housegirls. Which of course is the only rational thing to do because obviously being a maid is much less demeaning than being a waitress. She intends to climb her way up the social ladder by taking over her Oga’s house when she gets there. If you’re anything like me then you probably don’t bank much on Ini’s performances, which I didn’t; but thankfully the movie really isn’t much about her (neither is it about the other star actor, Desmond Elliot, they were both used to make us watch the movie and thankfully so). She, Ini Edo, barely has that many scenes and the scenes in which she is involved in, she is involved very minimally and it was near impossible for her to mess it up.
Victoria and Ivie are the other two girls that make up this trio who after seeing the new home of Ekemini as a housegirl, also decide that they want to become housemaids. Victoria, played by Tamara Eteimo, becomes a housemaid at the house of a widower with one young daughter. In her role as Victoria, Tamara is probably the standout actor in this entire movie. I am simply stunned by how amazing she is. She was fluid and effortless, which is not what I’d expect from a new actress. She was surprisingly amazing.
Mary Lazarus plays Ivie, the last leg of this tripod, who begins work with a liberal single mother whose daughter is out of the country. I found myself thinking many times that if my madam would be like that then being a Housegirl is not looking so bad. Mary Lazarus held her own. She is a strong actress but was definitely the weaker of the two. Was great for the most part but had a couple weak scenes here and there.
Desmond Elliot probably had the most impact on me as a viewer. Not because his role was that relevant but as soon as he arrives on screen for some reason I breathe a sigh of relief. It was almost as though seeing him on screen signified that I was now on familiar terrain. I would not have to sit here and watch actors I’m unsure of for about 2 hours (which in retrospect wouldn’t have been such a terrible thing because they all hold their own).
The movie is not without it’s flaws of course. It does have some of the corniest/cheesiest lines in the history of romantic movies which when said by certain actors didn’t sound so good, yet Desmond Elliot has found a way to say something as ridiculous as “I want you to return everything you stole from me. EVERYTHING! *insert long dramatic pause here* except my heart” with a straight face. And in the end for some reason I was not left laughing at the stupidity of the line but thinking “aww how cute”.
Kenneth Okolie plays a poster role in this movie. By this I mean, not much was required of him. He just responded to other people’s actions and went with the flow until his last scene which could have definitely been better.
Desperate Housegirls is more of a chick flick than anything else. If you go in with high expectations you will be crushed, if you go in expecting nothing, you might be pleased. All in all, just sit back relax and enjoy.