Nigerian movie writers and production companies are riding high on the wings of the romantic comedy genre. The box office champ, The Wedding Party, changed the game irrevocably. Then the beautifully delivered Isoken, directed by Jade Osiberu came along to brighten up 2017. My Wife and I is the latest installment in this expanding line of romantic comedies.
My Wife and I may be the first of its kind Nigerian film in the body swap sub-genre of rom coms, but it isn’t overly ambitious. The film has done well in picking its own little battles and ignoring much larger struggles.
The project isn’t terrible, not by a mile, but looking beyond the surface, it isn’t great either. The film reunites Omoni Oboli and Ramsey Nouah for the first time since the 2009 release of the iconic The Figurine – directed by Kunle Afolayan.
My Wife and I as directed by Bunmi Ajakaiye, tells the story of a wealthy but unhappy couple on the brink of divorce. Because of obvious responsibilities, they have decided to stick it out stubbornly, and almost predictably too.
A man of God comes highly recommended and the couple agree to a counselling session. This singular visit explodes in ways no one could have ever predicted. Oboli and Nouah’s characters may love to bicker back and forth, but the movie, however, does great by taking viewers back to a time when things were not always so bad. The story arc is traced back to a moment in the past when Toyosi (Omoni Oboli) makes a decision the rest of her family perceives as selfish. This eventually disrupts the cohesion of the family.
My Wife and I is lazy in its characterisation as well as in how it moves to depict the cluelessness of a supposedly married couple as it comes to underwear and menstrual health and hygiene. The movie starts out with vigour and purposefulness and with direction but seems to get weak in the middle and towards the end. There are long boring stretches of film with lukewarm predictability.
In all, it makes for a romantic comedy, but in the crudest of forms.
The film, however, wins in the post production and in the sound scores. The colour grading is by far the best in 2017 Nollywood. It is vivid storytelling that progresses without shadows to tell an enthusiastic story. Sound effects and official sound track are amazing and the producers of My Wife And I should really consider putting out the OST list for the public, as it makes for happy mood music.
The supporting cast includes funny people, Ngozi Nwosu and Seyi Law, but inexplicably they are neither fully nor perfectly utilised.
My Wife and I is a decent project. It should steal at the box office; not because it is particularly amazing, but because it arrives at the right time.
This movie gets a 6.3/10.
Oluwatosin Adeshokan is a freelance journalist and writer reporting stories about West Africa. He was previously the Culture Editor for YNaija. He tweets at @TheOluwatosin