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Seyi Babatope’s ‘When Love Happens Again’ Entertains But Suffers From The ‘Idiot Plot’ Syndrome

Seyi Babatope’s ‘When Love Happens Again’ Entertains But Suffers From The ‘Idiot Plot’ Syndrome image

Not every day we see sequels since Nollywood gained shape and started churning out better movies. Babatope’s new movie is a sequel to 2014 ROMCOM ‘When love Happens’ and follows the supposed ‘happily ever after’ relationship of Mo (Weruchia Opia) and her boyfriend Tobe (Udoka Onyeka). Mo starts her own event planning management and gets a meaty contract from a ‘Billionaire Playboy’ client Lade Adenuga (Folajimi Akinsola) that requires she travels over to Washington D.C to give an African touch to their big merger event. Surprisingly or rather expectedly, Tseju (Oreka Godis) tags along and follows her friend for this trip leaving Tobe behind in Lagos.

Babatope clearly had good intentions with his story and was rather driven with the success and persuasions from fans of the first instalment to do a second instalment (usually it is better to give fans an entirely different flick than doing a sequel). As usual, the script was written by a trio of writers Babatope Inclusive and had very well written dialogue and witty lines but that was that in the movie ─ witty lines. If the movie was shot in the early 2000’s or 90’s it may not have fallen into the category of ‘idiot plot’ movies but this is 2016 and in as much as a sequel was not an entirely bad idea; how about giving it more thought and develop the characters better?

‘Idiot plots’ are common in horror movies where one or all the characters are deliberately created to be stupid in order not to avoid the conflict or evil that they meet so they are stuck in the situation till the end, then the survivor gets an epiphany and then becomes the hero.

SOLID 2/5 IF I'M GOING TO BE HONEST

‘When love happens again’ as a romantic comedy suffers this syndrome a lot; while it was not supposed to be slapstick. On Mo’s trip to D.C they are suspicions everywhere (from blogs mostly) that she and Lade are having a relationship, Tobe’s best friend Eyinna (Eyinna Nwigwe) incites this and keeps reminding his friend that ‘his babe has followed another man and he is here looking’ and this to him and oddly or of course? A series of ‘she is not answering my calls’, and other quite awkward scenarios make him take a three-day leave from work to travel over to D.C to refute the cheating rumours or surprise her? (We can’t point). Then Eyinna who is jobless also tags along and follows his friend; getting a free ticket from his cousin and they travel (Tobe empties his account to make this 3-day trip for love). The absurdities did not end there ─ it is unfortunately impossible to give a deep sigh in writing.

The acting was particularly impressive: Opia with her usual gusto reprised the role remarkably; Oreka and Marie Humbert’s characters were also impressively played. However, Udoka as the new Tobe was rather wooden. Time and again, Udoka proves he is better behind the camera than at the front: he’s short films can prove that. He easily comes out as tense in his performances as we’ve seen in ‘Wives on Strike’ and this one, He and Gideon Okeke are equally not great actors but for this character ─ Gideon owned it. The story would have done fine without Emeka’s character (Funny Bone Chibuna): he’s scenes were obviously to add humour which Eyinna had already done so naturally that an Emeka character being maybe an unfunny person would have been fine. No background story was given on what he was into and why he was doing the whole ‘Alhaji’ thing or why ‘phones and laptops, in parts were around in his house’ (Yahoo boy? definitely not). Emeka’s scene with online comedian (Chief Obi) was more of a distraction than humour.

The subplot where Jennifer’s (Dianna Yekini) character formerly played by Beverly Naya is reintroduced leaving Yekini to play three scenes was unnecessary as it did not move or add to the plot. The choice of locations was apt and daring (especially on the sidewalks of D.C) with lots of people and noise: this though affected the sound mix a couple of times.

Babatope is a seasoned filmmaker who audiences love but a sequel to a very good movie was not one of his best choices: filmmaking is all about making mistakes and fixing them so this movie should not be a major cause of worry because the first instalment and ‘Lunch Time Heroes’ have already cemented his name properly so audiences will definitely jump on his next project forgiving and forgetting he ever fell for the ‘sequel trap.’



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