Thanks to underdeveloped characters and emotions, "Hire a Man" isn't a romantic comedy. It is a story of unrequited love - Poor Jeff.
It is a predictable and clichéd movie which focuses on overbearing heroines, who can't stop screaming on top of their voices.
Produced by Chineyelove Eze and directed by Desmond Elliot, the movie stars Zynnell Zuh, Enyinna Nwigwe, IK Ogbonna, Nancy Isime, Bayray Mc Nwizu and Daniel Lloyd.
The movie tells the story of Tishe, an account executive at an oil company, who lies to her mum about being engaged after the later called to inform her about her younger sister, Teni's engagement.
The relationship between Teni and Tishe is a competitive one, with Teni, who is a fashion editor with an international magazine, always having an upper hand.
With the help of her best friend Sonia (Bayray McNwizu), Tishe comes up with the idea to hire a man to pose as her fiancé at the family event. To avoid her sister's taunts, she decides to pay Jeff (Enyinna Nwigwe), a young man supposedly squatting with her rich neighbour.
"Hire a Man" is a movie with the right ingredients to be a good movie - a likeable cast, a predictable but entertaining plot, a dreamy setting. However, it has a lot working against it.
The first thing that would gradually freeze the smile on your face as the movie begins is Zynell Zuh's dramatic interpretation of the character Tishe. Believability goes out of the window with her far-fetched hilarious facial expressions and gesticulation.
The movie is supposed to be one that explores a love story that starts out as a business transaction but becomes something warmer along the line. However, the film seems to be missing the scenes where viewers see Tishe and Jeff actually falling for each other. The only scene that hints Tishe's likeness for Jeff is when she mentions how 'cool and kind' he is.
Something is missing in "Hire a Man"; the chemistry that calls forth admiration for an on-screen couple is absent. There is no chemistry between Jeff and Tishe. At the end of the movie, they had me wondering "shouldn't romantic comedies be romantic?"
The scene where Jeff gets Tishe a ring and also surprises her by returning to the resort should have been a poignant moment between the two. He had done something unexpected and 'life-saving.' But no, the writer seem more interested in creating a neurotic character that shouts at every action of Jeff's.
"Hire a Man" tries to portray Tishe and Teni as two independent but controlling women. However, it had the wrong definition of 'controlling' in mind while developing these characters.
From Teni's constant fight with her boyfriend Benjamin (IK Ogbonna) to Tishe's unexpected tantrums, there's nothing likable about these neurotic independent female characters with grossly over-the-top dramatics.
For a comedy movie, I found myself giggling not more than once. The scenes which are supposed to be funny, fall flat and fail to achieve its aim.
To give it a more appropriate plot, "Hire a Man" is a movie about two sisters who bicker at every given chance, scream at their fiancés like their lives depend on it, and are unbelievable with their gesticulations.
Does Tishe fall in love with Jeff? I don't think so. Even after they left the resort and she is still seen wearing his ring, she doesn't for a moment, voice out or express emotions that imply her love for him. She apologizes, not for her immature acts, but for not knowing his status before maltreating him.
"Hire a Man" isn't a romantic comedy, it is a story of unrequited love - Poor Jeff.
Goodnews is, IK Ogbonna doesn't threaten to detach your corneas with his comic skills. He isn't even funny in "Hire a Man." He is just perfect, and that's refreshing.
Enyinna Nwigwe is charismatic as Jeff and Bayray Mcnwizu is lively as Sonia. However, their talent doesn't save Zuh and Isime's overdone acting.
Undeveloped characters, undeveloped performances and undeveloped emotions make "Hire a Man" a movie for Nigerians out there who like their movies light and fluffy.