In his book, “Letters to a Young Poet”, Maria Rilke warned the young poet, Franz Kappus, “Do not write love-poems.” While one feels this is as simple and direct as any advice can be, its focus entirely on the poetic form, it is also a ubiquitous advice to writers and creators in all art forms. The reason is sometimes obvious, as Badboys and Bridesmaids has now shown us. A superficial romantic comedy that lacks the maturity to handle its themes; lacks the discernment to clamp down on its themes; lacks the introspection at any point in its 1 hour 30-minute runtime to realize it has gone wrong. Rilke continues: “avoid at first those forms that are too facile and commonplace: they are the most difficult.”
Since the success of The Wedding Party movies, there has been an unhealthy tilt in the industry towards romantic-comedies; an already overpopulated film genre. The formula for these films are well-known; throw the rich at the poor and sprinkle a dash of romantic drama. In this manner, Badboys and Bridesmaids offers nothing new or refreshing. It digs into a bag of cliché plot points, brings out the least innovative, and proceeds to present itself in a film that looks like an idealistic teenager wrote the script.
Three women (Nengi Hampson, Mercy Isoyip, and Kelly Wekpe) have come to celebrate their childhood friend, played by Idia Aisen (Nneka The Pretty Serpent), as she gets married. Her husband, Jimmie Akinsola, has also brought along his playboy friends (Ademola Adedoyin, Elozonam Ogbolu, and Jidekene Achufusi) who, ‘coincidentally’, are also three in number. For the discerning, it is already obvious where the narrative is headed. The four women made a pact as teenagers to keep their virginities until their wedding nights and the ‘bad boys’, now conscious of this pact, place a bet amongst one another to break it. A decent enough premise, but the execution is incredibly amateurish.
Badboys and Bridesmaids, directed by Seyi Babatope (Sanitation Day, When Love Happens), lines up beautiful faces and popular individuals for guaranteed box office return—a format that has been rehashed to exhaustion since The Wedding Party (2016). The acting is largely subpar and has the cinematography to match. It is a film with cliché ideas executed with clichéd techniques. A bunch of adults running around a childish narrative loop: a naïve fixation on sex without an adult outlook to it. A film that fails. And Rilke, the sage poet that he was, tells us why: “for it takes a great, fully matured power to give something of your own where good and even excellent traditions come to mind in quantity”. The Wedding Party, successful as it is, won’t hold up on international narrative standards. Badboys and Bridesmaids now comes forth, a bad remix of an average film.
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Badboys and Bridesmaids is showing in cinemas.