BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Another movie with quite the hype, Tolu ‘Lord Tanner’ Awoniyi’s Couple of Days premiered on February 4, 2016. It struck particularly because it was shot in Ibadan, as opposed to the many Lagos-based shootings and the never-ending flaunting of the Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge. It struck again because it is the debut movie for Falz the Bahdguy (Folarin Falana), a general sweetheart, so we just couldn’t wait to see it, or see him in it.
Couple of Days is a 2016 movie produced by Ayo Orumuyi. It tells the story of three couples who go on a holiday in one of their homes. While they are vacationing in the ancient city of Ibadan, they unravel a lot of hidden secrets and realize their marriages are not as perfect as they initially let on.
We should give the producers props for the portrayal of Ibadan in such good light, even though they begin to overdo it at some point; making you wonder if it is an actual movie or a tour captured on camera. We should also give props for some good camaraderie among the characters. At several points in the movie, you actually see chemistry that makes you smile. The conversation flows among the ladies, gets a little cheesy when Nina (Adesua Etomi) begins to sing, but flows nonetheless. The guys do really well together too, especially at the pool scene where they discuss their exes.
Falz does what he does best, even though his eyes keep averting the camera. It’s easy to tell he’s shy, but hey, he made us laugh so his sins are forgiven. His back and forth with Judith (Olayode Julianah) is probably another highpoint of the movie worthy of thumbs and big toes up.
Couple of Days has almost zero originality, as it easily reminds you of movies like Couple’s Retreat and Why Did I Get Married, where three or four couples holiday together and gossip and quarrel and discover each other’s secrets and split and make up and all that jazz. Too familiar. The fact that it is shot in Nigeria is probably the only uniqueness to it. I mean, even the part of the host’s wife having a secret ‘sickness’ is almost identical with The Bestman Holiday.
It would seem like the couples were waiting for the holiday to reveal the cracks in their marriages. Lanre and Joke (Adeniyi Ademola and Kiki Omeili), for example, had so many issues just before they came on the holiday. What were they expecting? And why would you agree to something like that when you’re just going to sulk all through?
Once again, Adesua Etomi’s character has the too-good-to-be-true persona. She’s the one who is madly in love with her husband, the one who gives all the advice, the one who forgives her husband before he even knows he’s wronged her, the one everyone wants to share their problems with. This isn’t impossible, but it’s not human enough. And why does she play many of such roles these days when we all know she’s capable of more? It gets boring.
Kiki Omeili dazzles with some exceptional acting, covering up for the poor story in a way. Generally, most of the acting is good; the minimal number of characters works in Couple of Days’ favour, reducing the risk of mediocre acting. There are, however, unnecessary scenes that get you yawning (or rolling your eyes or fiddling with your phone or humming a nursery rhyme), and add nothing at all to the story. A typical example is the park scene with Nina and Dan (Okey Uzoeshi), whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears while hugging and kissing. You keep waiting for the punchline, and at last you realize it’s either a gimmick to prolong the movie, or to show off the park. Whichever one it is, it could have been better done. Many scenes passively go on and on, and there’s generally too much talking than doing, or is it telling than showing? The advertising of brands and exhibition of places are not lost on us too, but even if they weren’t so in-our-faces, we would still have gotten them. We are a smart audience.
Couple of Days has its message, but the resolution is a tad too preachy. Just when it gets us saying ‘Eeyah!’ as Cynthia (Lilian Esoro) refuses to heed and kills herself, we see her at her own funeral and go ‘WTHHSGVVS???!!’ And then we’re suddenly told there’s a sequel? Urgh!
Couple of Days isn’t a terrible movie, but it isn’t a great one either. It just hovers somewhere in the middle, draws you in with the fine acting, and pushes you off with its predictability, bare content and leisureliness. A little birdie told me it was shot in four days.
Well, it shows.