Hype can be a major turn off or bait for movies. The Wedding Party happens to be one of the most talked about and hyped movies of the year and does it live up to expectations? Is it worth the time and money? These are questions Nigerian cinema-goers undoubtedly never ask themselves when comedy is involved – especially when it’s a romantic comedy with a stellar cast; from the producers of box-office wonder ‘Fifty’ to an impressively preachy P.R.. Well, the answer is evident.
Dunni Coker (Adesua Etomi) is the bride-to- be. She is the only daughter of oil magnate Bamidele Coker (Alibaba) and extremely dramatic Yoruba mother Tinuade Coker stereotypically and exceptionally played by Sola Sobowale who is set to tie the knot with Lagos big-time playboy Dozie Onwuka (Banky W) and all hell seems to be let loose to disrupt the wedding party of the year. The entire movie happens in one day. It captures a very visually brilliant story about all that goes down in a typical Nigerian wedding.
The wedding Party which is Kemi Adetiba’s first feature length outing as a director could not have been directed better; as one of the key elements of the movie aside the stellar performances from all the cast was the directing. From the way each scene was shot, it was easy to tell this heavy-weight project was left in good hands. Adetiba combined a touch of music video shooting skills to film making skills to bring these beautiful takes to life.
The Editing was a major high point of the movie as the Editor (Andrew Webber) totally understood how attention spans of the audience are dwindling by the day – every scene was precise and straight to the point. The acting performances were top-notch and funny. From the Insecure virgin bride; to the playboy groom; to the over bearing Yoruba and Igbo mothers, to the edgy wedding planner (Zainab Balogun), the arrogant gate crashers, a vengeful ex (Beverly Naya); a goof-clown best man (Ikechukwu) and the groom’s brother Nonso (Eyinna Nwigwe) seeking approval from his father. The acting ensemble was nothing short of stellar.
The screenplay by Playwright Tosin Otudeko and Kemi Adetiba clearly had Romantic comedy tropes in mind and handled it with care, though the scene with the thief on the loose (Sambasa Nzeribe) and the ‘I graduated with first-class, but I couldn’t find a job- so-I-resorted to stealing’ line was one we’ve seen too many times and could have been anything else but that. What also led to the scene at the beach was question-arousing (not in a good way) almost implausible and could have been easily corrected with a line of dialogue from Dunni to her bridesmaid (Somkhele Idhalama) or just any other person. The plot structure and witty dialogue was enough to cover for the minor lapses.
The Wedding Party is a perfect family movie that will leave any Nigerian audience anywhere in the World with one of the things we love the most: laughter. The movie opened to a wide audience at the Toronto International Film Festival with rave reviews and has been much anticipated since then. It is an enjoyable piece of comedy that must best be enjoyed with friends and family over the holidays.