By Ifeanyi Ndukwe
Seven and a half dates is a unique story as it involve a father and a daughter relationship. Inspired by the game of chess, he sets Bisola up for 10 different dates to which he hopes one of them yields a positive result (marriage). Bisola Gomez is a workaholic whose parents and society are worried about her ovaries expiration and social life. Thus, her father steps in to save her from eternal loneliness and singlehood by setting up ten blind dates for her with his friend’s eligible children. To Mr. Gomez, chess is a metaphorical representation of her daughter’s romantic life: one bad date, one pawn down.
Bisola goes on a date with the internet troll, the misogynist, the self-absorbed talkative, the pastor’s child, the latecomer, the man with the bad breath and on her seventh date she meets a random stranger who she will later fall in love with.
It was released to the cinemas on August 3rd and was number one in many of the cinemas over the weekend but overall number two to Mission Impossible : the fallout. A testament to the quality of work this is.
The movie has been described in some quarters as the movie that is making Nollywood look good. The movie appear to be clearing doubts as to the ability of Nollywood to make quality, highly entertaining and engaging movies. As at the time of release it sold over N10 million in three days.
Report from the halls has it that audience at multiple locations give a rousing applause often at the end of the movie. In one of the reviews, it was described as the only movie that has matched the credibility of The Wedding Party.
But if this perpetual-workaholic-spinster storyline sounds familiar, that is because it is. Perhaps the most overused idea in Nollywood is that of a woman who must find a groom at all cost just to satisfy family and save them from public embarrassment. Although Seven and a Half Dates plies this treacherously overused grounds, it somehow finds redemption with an emotive side story about domestic violence and fleeting comic scenes.
But the beauty of the film is in its brevity; how scenes are neither overplayed or the actors effusive. A parade of notable faces come and go throughout the film, and each actor delivers a good, at times hilarious, performance before fading away, leaving the audience with a good memory of them. Toyin Abraham and Frank Donga’s scene is perhaps the film’s most memorable and hilarious.
He continues; “Creativity, uniqueness and a lot more. I just couldn’t afford not to be part of this movie. The cast members are incredibly talented. I always choose my scripts very carefully and when I got the script for Seven and a Half Dates, I just couldn’t turn my back on it and I must say, the script compelled me back into acting. This movie is a must watch and Seven and a Half date is the most important movie date you have this year which makes 3rd of August a date you don’t want to miss.’’
Seven and a half dates mixes comedy with great messaging in such a way that makes the film truly special. It chooses to work with commonalities – a single lady feeling the pressure of her parents to get married, and the rough journey to finding love or finding one’s own self – but tells its story so well that the common elements are an added advantage that simply make the story more relatable.
Seven and a Half Dates is to make you take home the message against abusive relationship in a relaxed ambience. Feminists, singles, parents and men have one or two messages in this flick. No man should beat a woman. No lady should marry an abusive lover. No mother should force a daughter to marry a brute. Domestic violence is evil and a father abusing his wife is sowing a dangerous seed in his son and it will germinate with time. Above all, unblemished love is all.