BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
A film about four (or say three to five, mostly female and usually unmarried) friends seems like a new fad. They each are under the pressure to find a man, a pressure mostly from their mothers who also double as prayer warriors and pastors’ favorites. These women must meet for drinks at a bar from to time, and at the spa –never forget the spa– where two or three of them seem to have an argument. One of them finally gets the ring and everyone rejoices, and one of them is probably living a fake life, glossing it over with designer bags and shoes and plastic smiles, and one is probably a trophy wife, or aspires to be.
This is the story of Memoirs of 4, a story we seem to have already seen pieces of in motion pictures such as Isoken, June, Rumor Has It, Before 30, An African City and others like it.
In Memoirs of 4, this friendship comprises of the talkative Solape (Kiera Heywatch), the arrogant Teni (Adesua Etomi), the agreeable Mariam (Linda Ejiofor), and the sparing Chika (Christine Godfrey). We find that nothing is as it seems as these friends deal with their issues of men, finding love and living life in their thirties.
The film begins with its promise, with a lot of dialogue that seems to set the pace and reveal the identities of the main characters. The friends are reunited with their old friend, Chika, and then it would seem like Chika abandons her life and joins them for their many holidays and outings. Halfway into the film, it is still hard to see where the film is going, especially Chika’s part of it. You can’t understand what exactly is going on with her and her mother (played by Tina Mba), her enthusiastic ‘toaster’ (played by Gbenro Ajibade) and even money, with the way she latches on to her frugality like a lifeline.
Solape goes back and forth, and you cannot place her motives for her actions and lies, her scene with her brother, and the very awkward dream about Joseph Benjamin. Teni and Mariam have a more rounded story, however, important processes are either rushed through or unnecessary ones elongated. In the end, we find the women getting with men, leaving men or hoping for men. The end.
Memoirs of 4’s disjointed story enjoys some interesting dialogue, especially between Teni and Mariam when they banter and call each other by their nicknames, and when they engage in a heated argument. Adesua Etomi’s portrayal elicits a ‘Wow!’ from time to time, and if you had any doubts before now, is proof that she is something special. Linda Ejiofor and Kiera Heywatch also do decent jobs with their roles. Christine Godfrey is conspicuously out of place in the mix, and their men Fredrick Leonard and Gbenro Ajibade overdo and underdo in places, never quite getting the proper dosage. For someone who is a big face on the poster, Blossom Chukwujeku does too little, and does it little justice.
A 2018 film written by Ronke Ayoola, co-written and produced by Aarinola Odimayo and directed by Alex Mouth, Memoirs of 4 falls short in its story and execution in spite of its many big names and fine faces. It seems unsure of what it wants to do, is constantly making twist decisions on the go, and not quite knowing when to stop.