Liz Benson, Daniel K. Daniel, Wendy Elenwo
MUMMY DEAREST conveys the story of a dedicated and committed mother who tries to stay in touch with her five (adult) children living in various cities. Her last child and only son,Chijioke is unresponsive to her efforts of staying in touch because he’s preoccupied with work,friends and fun. He is compelled to embark on a journey of self-discovery and reconciliation after his friend and colleague losses his mother to a drastic illness.
Chioma Willis Ikedum
Poor acting in many scenes
As a matter of principle, I almost always do not have any expectations for any movie. So from a Mildred Okwo film to an Ugezu J. Ugezu movie, I meet everyone with the exact same level of expectation, none. However, the title of this movie and the poster as well as the trailer make it a bit hard to have no expectations. The entire promotion of the movie incites a warm fuzzy holiday-like feeling in the audience. But does it meet this expectation?
Mummy Dearest is the story of a mother of five who tries to keep in touch with all five of her children after they are grown and gone from home. She is relatively successful in doing this with all of her children except for her only son. He, played by Daniel K. Daniel, feels like his mother is smothering him and does everything in his power to avoid her calls at all times. This is until his friend and coworker loses his mom that he then realizes the blessing he has (of course). So in the spirit of realizing the worth of what we have (through someone elses loss, nonetheless – but let’s not talk about that), he decides to take his annual vacation and go visit his mother in Port-Harcourt.
It’s all quite a romantic idea and I am grateful that they did not just continue in that overly-romanticized alternate universe. The writer at least tries to show that there is a bit of an adjustment for mother to realize that her son is grown and for son, who is used to living independently, to go back to being under his mother’s watchful eyes.
There’s undertones of a lot of things besides the things that the movie wants you to see. The movie wants you to see a son that doesn’t appreciate his mother, it wants you to see an overbearing and paranoid mother, it wants you to see a mother that cannot accept that her son is grown. However, I also see a few other things, like a mother who is raising a son who cannot cook for himself but waits in the dining for food to be delivered to him after a long day of doing nothing. I also see a son who has his friends over, in his old age, they make a mess and he leaves it for his mother to clean up. I see a boy who wants to be treated like a man, has the makings of a man but still has some mental maturation to go through.
So if these things were intentional on the part of the writer, then kudos on showing all those facets. And if it wasn’t intentional then… (dot) (dot) (dot).. we’re just going to pretend it was and still give you the kudos.
But that’s about all the kudos I’m willing to give here. Save for Liz Benson, DKD and Wendy Elenwo (who plays the son’s PortHarcourt girlfriend) many of the actors in this movie where coming to the screen with absolutely nothing to offer. Ironically the worst performance of the film was by an actress who was playing the character of a famous actress. I’m still not certain which was more comical: the absolute inability to act, or her introductory scene where she is surrounded by people who also can’t act and are trying to make me believe that she is a celebrity. That single scene was a fail for the actors, a fail for the writers, and especially a fail for the directors. It’s scenes like that that cause people to press stop on a movie and move on.
However, not all the actors were bad. Wendy Elenwo did very well, especially for a new actress. The guys who play DKD’s friends were effortless and the lady who plays the immediate elder sister does well also. The best scenes are the ones with Liz Benson and DKD alone, acting-wise.
The storyline of the movie itself is a bit formulaic. At some point it started to feel like it was made by a mother who is vexed that her kids aren’t calling her so she’s like “here, I’ll make a film to show you”. It isn’t a bad film but it could have done with some salvation at more points than one. At the end of the movie, the message was sent and I did pick up my phone and call my mother so I guess it worked 🙂