"My Wife and I" delivers predictable scenes with more delight and humour than you'd expect. It is refreshingly entertaining.
Hollywood has seen quite a number of body-swap comedies, but with "My Wife and I," Bunmi Ajakaiye takes the risk of directing the first of its kind in Nollywood.
There's something needed to enjoy body-swap films; viewers are expected to believe the unbelievable for the sake of enjoyment.
"My Wife and I" follows the story of Toyosi (Ramsey Nouah) and Ebere (Omoni Oboli), an unhappily married couple on the brink of a divorce. They are always fighting about their respective roles as spouses and parents.
They weren't always hostile towards each other, things took a different turn after Toyosi made a decision that didn't go well for the family.
However, for the sake of their twin teenagers, and at the urging of their parents, they decide to give their marriage one last chance.
In a typical Nigerian mum style, Ebere's mum (Ngozi Nwosu) concludes that their problem is spiritual and recommends a famous man of God (Seyi Law).
After a visit and prayer from this man of God, they wake up in each other’s bodies and are unable to switch back.
Over the course of the body switch, the two are forced to juggle the day-to-day struggles of each others' lives, deal with their faults and uncertainties, and at the same time, search for a solution to their problem.
The movie explores insecurities in marriages, parenting and sexual harassment at work place.
The movie elicits laughter through their mannerisms and the display of uncomfortable situations the couple find themselves in while living each other's lives.
Example, awkward sexual encounters between the couple, and the use of stereotypes such as Toyosi not knowing what a sanitary pad is.
As is with most swap-body comedies, the audiences can predict most turns. However, they are delivered with more delight and humour than you'd expect and little or nothing is taken away from the movie's entertainment value.
There is, for example, the scene where Ebere [in Toyosi's body] arrives Toyosi's fish farm for a business deal with a customer who prefers the use of indigenous language. As an Igbo woman, she is unable to communicate with her and almost loses the deal.
Oboli and Nouah, who are reunited in movie after their role in "The Figurine" 10 years ago, seem to be having so much fun with their unbridled portrayal of a couple trapped in each other's body as they bring their characters to life.
Ngozi Nwosu, Rachel Oniga, Jemima Osunde, Dorcas Shola Fapson and Sambasa Nzeribe also bring a touch of playfulness that keeps the genre on track.
However, "My Wife and I" fails to harness Ngozi Nwosu's popular comic skills in her role as Ebere's mum. Recommending a pastor and walking into her daughter's make-out session doesn't give her enough room to shine.
The pacing is brisk until towards its end when "My Wife and I" takes up a repetitious tone and becomes a bit of a slacker for its genre.
On the whole, "My Wife and I" is a movie that uses hilarious situations to provoke a re-evaluation of values in relationships, and deserves credit for trying something new in the Nigerian comic sphere.
Written by Chinaza Onuzo, "My Wife and I" is produced by Inkblot and Filmone Distribution and opens in cinemas on August 25, 2017.