Movie review: My Wife & I offers much, delivers little, by Femi Idowu

Omoni Oboli and Ramsey Nouah in My Wife & I

Bunmi Ajakaiye directs this daring tale of a couple (Toyosi Akinyele, played by Ramsey Nouah) and Ebere Akinyele, played by Omoni Oboli) constantly at loggerheads. Their unending squabbles (which start after Toyosi makes a bad decision) get out of hand leading Toyosi’s mother, Bisi Akinyele (Ngozi Nwosu) to suggest a counselling session with Pastor Theophilus (the hilarious Seyi Law).

The pastor prays for the couple after the session but they wake up the next morning with their bodies switched. Left with no choice, they agree to ditch the plans for a divorce, play along and try to patch up their marriage.

The director takes a plunge into the unknown by embarking on perhaps the first body swapping flick in Nollywood. Movies such as this are common in Hollywood, so an attempt in our industry has to be well executed.

My Wife & I starts with Ebere being portrayed as an uptight, perpetually angry wife whose anger almost makes her assault a pastor. Toyosi, on the other hand, is calm and stoic but nonetheless fed up with his wife. They are tired of being married to each other after 17 years and a set of twins.

After deciding to seek means of making things work, the couple is left exposed as they discover shortcomings and uncertainties while trying to go through their daily lives in the other spouse’s body. This new challenge paves way for tolerance and understanding. A sexual harassment arises at the workplace but is handled well.

Full marks go to the cast for a largely commendable performance. The acting is perhaps the saving grace in this movie. The only downside is perhaps the below-par acting from the youngest cast (the twins). Ireti Akinyele (Jemima Osunde) overdoes it. Too melodramatic. Okey Akinyele (Nnadozie Onyiriuka) on the other hand, really couldn’t be bothered. He was just going through the motions. Ramsey Nouah delivers a compelling performance.

The movie is not without some mistakes though. The most glaring has to be seeing Ebere Akinyele in bed with makeup on; perhaps that is the norm now? Omoni Oboli sometimes muddled up Toyosi and Ebere. Also, the screenplay was not consistent, though one would agree that it was a difficult one to pull off. One, however, notices the attention to detail where Ebere’s first laugh in the movie came when she is in Toyosi’s body.

A predictable ending could not be avoided.

My Wife & I is audacious and humorous but does not live up to expectation. The movie leaves the audience wanting more but not getting it.

Rating: 2 Stars