BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
It’s always refreshing to spot a not-so-familiar face taking centre stage and smashing it. Before When Love Happens, I must confess I had never seen Weruche Opia. But whether hidden or in your face, a good act would always be a good act. She is the reason this movie would easily pass for bae.
When Love Happens is a 2014 romantic-comedy co-produced and directed by Seyi Babatope which tells the story of a lady looking to find love. When a single events planner, Oluwamoduroti Bankole-Smith, also known as Mo’ (Weruche), gets a call from her friend Jennifer (Beverly Naya), informing her that she would be getting married, Mo’ begins to get concerned about her own unmarried status, especially since she considers herself better than Jennifer in every sense. When she tries to reach her best friends, Tseju (Oreka Godis) and Tobe (Gideon Okeke) to share her concerns with them to no avail, she decides to start up a video blog and the feedback she gets from her blog followers sets her on a journey of blind dates and outright manhunts, until her high school sweetheart and family friend, Dare (OC Ukeje), returns from the UK and sweeps her off her feet yet again. While she is smitten by him and shares with her vlog followers that she has finally found the one, she is totally oblivious that her friend Tobe has fallen madly in love with her.
The Hollywood movies Brown Sugar and Baggage Claim readily come to mind with their similarities in the best-friend-turned-lover department. Still, When Love Happens holds its own uniqueness and freshness and Nigerian-ness. While there are not many people cast in the movie, the few are mostly stars and people who know their ways in front of a camera. From Shaffy Bello to Keppy Ekpeyong to Wale Ojo, Bukky Wright, Femi Brainard, Desmond Elliot, Blossom Chukwujekwu and the others, When Love Happens boasts of some of the biggest names in the industry, with quality acting to match.
There’s hardly a thing to fault in this movie since there’s quite a believable chemistry among its cast and even though the ‘caught in the act’ cheating scene is overused and cliché, the story is properly done. I didn’t get collywobbles from the Mo’-Tobe love story as much as I’d have loved to, but it still doesn’t take away from the brilliant portrayal of both characters.
It has humor to it too; moments that make you laugh out loud, not just from words but from expressions that speak volumes. The production quality is top-notch, clearly the work of a meticulous professional, and the experienced directing comes across from scene to scene, and with the smooth transitioning.
The movie also leaves you with something to hold on to in terms of a lesson: most times, what we are running all over the place to find is right before our noses. Good work. When Love Happens is deserving of two whole thumbs up, and a pat on the back.