So I watched the “highly anticipated” Nollywood flick, Men In Love. As you know, all Nollywood movies are highly anticipated. By who? They alone know, but that is by the way.
Having seen the preview before watching the movie, I already knew that at some point, John Dumelo and Muna Obiekwe would be caught doing the nasty. What I did not know was how they would get to that point, and so, I set off to watch this movie, clearly curious.
Plot: Whitney (Tonto Dikeh) is married to Charles (John Dumelo), a rich business man who has a problem with slipping into women other than his wife. After Whitney walks in on him and yet another mistress, she beats the crap out of her and breaks a bottle on her head. Repentant, Charles vows to be changed man. One day, he bumps into his old friend from college, Alex (Muna Obiekwe). They hang out and reconnect. Alex tells Charles that he’s gay. Charles is shocked, but not shocked enough to stay away after Alex starts coming on to him. Charles swears he’s a straight man – of course – who has never been and will never be gay – of course.
Alex plays the if-we-can’t-be-lovers-let’s-be-friends card and invites Charles to his house for a party. Charles honors his invitation (without his wife) – smart move. Alex drugs Charles’ drink, and after Charles falls asleep, Alex has his way with him. Some of you may know this as rape. In this case, I’d prefer to call it anal rape.
Charles wakes up in the morning, angry, punches Alex in the face and walks away… only to come back a couple of days later saying he wants Alex as his lover. Fast-forward to Charles and Alex being full blown lovers. Secret lovers, of course. Whitney has no clue. Alex moves into Charles house because his house is under some alleged construction. Charles begins to ignore Whitney. Fast-forward again to Whitney walking into Charles’ office and finding her husband getting it from the back … from another man.
Heartbroken, Whitney moves out of the house. But one day, she spots Charles and Alex at the store and she realizes that her husband is not happy. The Pastor confirms her fears.
What fears, you ask? Oh, well, apparently, Alex had used juju to to make Charles gay. I mean, what other explaination could there possibly be? Men do not just sleep with other men! The Pastor comes to the house and prays. There is a power point sound effect, and va-va-voom, Charles is miraculously cured of his gayism. [Somebody, shout a thunderous Alleluia!] And they lived happily ever after. Oh, and Alex is sent to jail. The movie made it a point to let all you watchers – especially the secretly gay ones – that being caught in a homosexual act in Nigeria is a crime. I like it when they reiterate the Nigerian law in their movies … like when they make statements like, “419 is a crime and the EFCC will not stand for it!” or “no one is above the law.” Psshhht, please! As if!
I don’t know about you, but I was utterly, completely, absolutely disappointed in this movie. It was actually a good script — until that last part. It may be 2010, but we have not moved past blaming juju for everything that does not add up in our lives. Why couldn’t Charles just be a man who was doing it on the down low? Men like him exist everywhere — including Nigeria where acts of homosexuality are apparently criminal. If you’re going to make a movie about anything – homosexuality included – do it well.
The movie was written by Chisom Juliet Okereke, and let me tell you, sister, that’s some jacked up mess you did at the end of the movie! I demand a refund of my time.