BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
I might need to do a quick recap of my sermon:
My people, my people, do not be fooled by a ghen-ghen trailer. Do not be fooled by star studding either. Sometimes, it means nothing. Unless the star is Leonardo Dicarprio. Or Will Smith. Or Bradely Cooper. Or Ramsey Noah. Oh wait, Ramsey Noah?
The movie Weekend Getaway is a testament to the above. Tight trailer and star studding. And boy, does it fall flat! It carries your expectations to the roof, and then drops it like a hot potato. It whets your appetite then feeds you with well-packaged shrubs in place of meat.
Weekend Getaway is a 2012 movie directed by the veteran Desmond Elliot and produced by the Royal Arts Academy. It stars many A-list Nollywood actors, and is shot in Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts. It tells a story about the lives of a number of people who coincidentally visit the resort on the same weekend for sundry reasons. A couple comes to rekindle their love and revive a marriage that is falling apart. A woman comes with her boy toy to introduce a business proposal to the hotel management. A doctor comes with his friend, a play boy for his blind date, a tech thief for a software, a man for her arrest and all and all.
Okay. Cool story. Interesting idea. Beautiful setting. All that’s left is the execution. And then it all just goes south. The first scene starts with a couple in a heated argument in their pastor’s office. In a blink, they suddenly get mushy and reminiscent of good times. The pastor instructs them to go back to where they met to find what they lost, but it all just looks like acting. Number 1 rule of acting: Do not make it look like acting. It’s called make-believe for a reason.
Then there’s the ridiculousness of how Genevieve’s character leaves the airport on the Governor’s convoy. How do you have a PA who doesn’t investigate before carrying a random person at the airport just because she is well dressed, mistaking her for your daughter? It is one of the dumbest mistakes I’ve seen, and no, they do not have us sold one bit. I keep wondering why Genevieve could not just get a cab rather than take that risk. What was the relevance of that part to the story? I’m still asking myself the same question till this day.
An idle guy leaves Lagos for Akwa ibom on a blind date because he wants to get laid. What happened to all the women in Lagos? They got drunk and slept for one whole weekend? And then a hotel worker wears a dress she sees on a guest’s bed. How unprofessional is that? I thought the movie was poised to bring positive publicity for the Le Meridien.
Monalisa Chinda’s character is mostly angry and boring. She keeps yelling at her boy toy who now thinks he loves her, yet monitors every moving behind. Theirs is arguably the most sleep-inducing segment of the movie. The back-and-forth is exhausting. Uti and Genevieve try to go all Mr and Mrs Smith on us, but they just don’t sell it. Independently, most of the acting is good, but when you merge them together, they just get out of sync and cause eyes to roll.
It’s interesting how most of them know each other from sometime in the past. I guess that’s how small Nigeria is. It gets funnier when every time you see them, there are rarely any passers-by around. For a resort that large, how is it that only three people decide to take morning jogs? I’ve been meaning to ask: How many days are in one weekend? Three? Seven? Or is it that the characters keep changing clothes? The movie actually seems like an entire week rather than a weekend. I guess it is all in a bid to show-off the lovely costumes or something.
Bryan Okwara was probably the most outstanding in this movie. I think he did better than the Genevieves and Ramseys. Uru Eke too was fantastic. I don’t know what Beverly Naya and Bobby Obodo were going on about. And how he kept twisting his neck every time they kissed. Ugh!
All in all, I think Weekend Getaway was a good idea that went sour. It was impatiently done like a copied assignment. It had a lot going for it, but it was shoddy. And that is just a pity, as it had everything it needed to be a hit. I mean, who puts Ramsey and Genevieve and Ini Edo in a movie and still gets it wrong? I understand The Royal Arts Academy has made major improvements since this one was done, and I hope they keep getting better. There’s a lot of potential there, and they should take it step by step like hot jollof, or it would burn the tongue and leave our mouths sore.