Like the title clearly states, it is the day before a wedding. A union between a spoiled rich kid, Yewande (an eager Beverly Naya,) and her coddled heartthrob, Funsho, played with fumbling charm by Adeolu Adefarasin.
The young couple at the center of The Eve have convinced themselves of the genuineness of their love and are headed for the altar. But not before Funsho embarks on a final blast of debauchery with his best friends played by the hunky trio of Kunle Remi, Mawuli Gavor and Efa Iwara.
The quartet decides to embark on a trip, away from the ladies, to a getaway beach house belonging to Funso’s rascally uncle. Naturally, they get into a lot of trouble and Funsho, especially bites off more than he can chew. But will their misadventures be significant enough to derail the wedding? Across the Lagoon, Yewande is also having her own hen night but no one so much as pretends to be interested in what is going on over there.
It isn’t necessary to see dozens of Hollywood romantic comedies to guess where this one is headed. But to be fair, The Eve, directed by Tosin Igho, a music video veteran, does attempt to throw the audience for a loop. It is just that the nature of this deception leaves quite a lot to be desired.
The Eve starts out sure enough as a romantic drama, then segues suddenly into (lip synced) song and dance before flirting briefly with the action thriller genre and then getting back on the straight and narrow. All of this is unnecessary as it turns out, merely coming across as the work of a screenwriter excited to impress. As a result, the film makes the neophyte’s mistake of not tying up obvious loose ends. The culprit in this case is the usually reliable Tunde Babalola.
Igho brings his music video aesthetics to the shoot and suffuses his film with plenty of pretty looking actors. The ensemble also accommodates Hauwa Allahbura (sharing producer credits,) Meg Otanwa and Toni Tones. Jon Okafor aka Mr Ibu and Ronke Oshodi are parachuted in purely for comic effect but even this is falsely calculated.
Apart from the gorgeous bodies whom Igho lights up pretty well, there is the addition of dollops of color to the film, giving the picture a welcoming, if aspirational feel. Designer wedding gowns and lovely beach front real estate help distract attention from the very basic story and screenplay that everyone is working with.
Naya and Adefarasin’s characters do not share much screen time, and while this is a necessary plot device, it contributes to their underwhelming chemistry. Both actors are fine together, but Adefarasin’s Funsho lights up the most when he is with his guys. He should be dating one of them. A promising same sex character is unveiled but this is merely to advance liberal values as the plot twist is dispatched with just as soon as it is introduced for fear of offending anyone.
A similar thread of attention deficit disorder runs through some of the film’s major set pieces. Characters are introduced in one scene then forgotten in the next, things happen seemingly at random with no overall bearing to the story that the writer has settled to tell.
Perhaps it is just as well, as The Eve is simply a feel good, summertime entry into the fast-growing Nollywood romantic drama canon. Elegant, pretty to look at and finely shot, it is minor crowd-pleasing fare that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Too bad, as it could have been a whole lot more.
Wilfred Okiche is a medic, reader, writer, journalist, culture critic, and occasional ruffler of feathers. One of the most influential critics working in the Nigerian culture space, his writing has appeared extensively in platforms like YNaija.com and 360nobs.com. Okiche has provided editorial assistance to the UK Guardian and has had his work published in African Arguments, Africa is a Country and South Africa’s City Press. He has received trainings and acquired experience in multimedia and online journalism. He also appears on the culture television show, Africana Literati. He has participated at critic programs in Lagos, Durban and Rotterdam.