BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
The first installment of Mummy Dearest, released in 2015, introduces us to the Chindas: the protective mother hen Rose Chinda, her four daughters and her only son, Chijioke, also known as CJ. We meet Boma too, CJ’s girlfriend who isn’t exactly pleased with his dependence on his mother and her intrusion in their business.
In Mummy Dearest: The Wedding, we begin again with a phone call, but this time without Mama Rose. CJ connects with his sisters in a conference call and gives them the good news of his promotion to the post of manager in his new company branch in Port Harcourt. Expectedly, he arrives at his mom’s and she is over the moon. But CJ has other plans that involve getting a place and marrying Boma, and when his mother learns of it, she is heartbroken for fear that her favorite child will be taken from her. Feigning illness, she moves in with her son and does her best to sabotage the engagement. CJ and Boma must now decide whether her antics are enough to keep them apart, or if the wedding will go as planned.
The Mummy Dearest story, from its first part to this, is pretty linear, devoid of spikes or surprises. It is relatable for the most part, especially because of Liz Benson Ameye’s hilarious representation of the typical Nigerian mother, but it isn’t anything we have not seen in its prequel. However, the scenes are better tied together here, with an all-round decent acting and scenes that are straight to the point, and devoid of long aimless conversation. The story gets moving, builds up, stumbles with its conflict, and gives a passable resolution. It appears the producers felt like an instant jolt would feel good, which is why they introduced a wedding day disruption, a terrible idea it turns out to be. But for this, and a few cast additions, Mummy Dearest: The Wedding would have been way better.
A number of cast changes are made. Uti Nwachukwu is introduced in the role of Kamzi, an old friend of CJ’s, while Mary Lazarus replaces Wendy Elenwo as Boma. Cameo appearances from some of Nollywood’s actors such as Chris Okagbue and Melvin Oduah, as well as Big Brother ex-housemate, Marvis Nkpornwi are featured. Daniel K Daniel and Liz Benson Ameye reprise their roles from the prequel, and their chemistry is still just as believable.
Some elements could have been done away with, like the inconsistent subtitling in the four-way phone call, the wedding disruption and a lot of Uti’s excesses that do nothing at all for the story. Other than these, Mummy Dearest: The Wedding is enjoyable, earning props for the warm and fuzzy feeling of a mother’s love it creates. It isn’t about to blow your mind, but it makes a fair attempt at putting a smile on your face. And no one has asked me, but I do not think making this into a franchise with the same characters is a great idea. It’s only the second part, and the audience is already spent.
Mummy Dearest: The Wedding is produced and directed by Willis Ikedum.