#Nollywood Movie Review: Love or Something like That

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Kwaaley (Jocelyn Dumas), a newly married medical doctor, finds out she is HIV positive and tells her husband, Alex (John Dumelo).  The ensuing resentment becomes a spanner in the wheel of their otherwise happy union.

Shirley Frimpong Manso (Contract, Devil in the Detail) returns with another love story, which tells a tale that is similar to Tango with Me.  In both films, the men find it difficult to make love to their wives.  In Tango with Me, the lady is raped in her husband’s presence while in Love or Something like That, the man resents the wife when she tests positive to HIV.  Incidentally, she was also raped by her lover.  In Tango with Me, the man begins to have an affair while in Love or Something like That, the woman goes back to her former lover.  In the end, the men blame themselves for not keeping to their marital vows to love their wives through thick and thin.

Asantua (Nana Mensah), though vulgar, provides comic relief in the film and surprisingly offers her friend, Kwaaley, good advice.  When Kwaaley complains that Alex is mad at her, Asantua observes that he is rather mad at the situation, urging her friend to give it time.  She equally tells Kwaaley that Alex still loves her, but is only more human than her lover, Henry.  When Kwaaley furthers wonders what will become of her whole life: husband, career, children, Asantua assures her that everything will come full circle.  She says that to imply that everything will come to fruition.  When Kwaaley says she loathes Henry for wrecking her life, Asantua assures her that Henry probably hates himself more, urging Kwaaley to forgive him.

Sonia (Christabel Eke) is a very knowledgeable woman, who seems to have a mind of her own, but really doesn’t.  It is curious if people like her truly exist.  Given her heart-to-hearts with Alex, it is astonishing to see her trying to derail Alex’s marriage.  She sensibly asks Alex how fair it is to abandon one’s dreams to pursue someone else’s; which, for her, is what marriage does to people.  She states that she is afraid of marriage owing to its numerous demands; but as it turns out, her action is one of the problems, bedevilling marriage.

Kwaaley fails her medical profession and humanity by putting another person at risk when she could have confirmed her suspicion and let Alex know what he was going into.  On the other hand, it takes a negative HIV result for Alex to have a discussion with his wife after a period of barely talking to each other.  It is very easy to guess that he would have reacted aggressively if the result had gone the other way.  Where, then, is empathy?

The man who played a mirror character in Devil in the Detail plays a similar role in Love or Something like That, giving a feeling of déjà vu.  He offers the same kind of advice, the same way.

There are inconsistencies in the film.  Why is Kwaaley shocked when Henry Dominic (O. C. Ukeje) walks into her consulting room whilst his file is the topmost one on her table?  Does it mean she never knew her former lover’s surname?

Kwaaley serves her husband breakfast and initiates a conversation on the most sensitive issue in their lives.  Of course, that was never going to end well.  She should have allowed him to eat before raising the matter.  Timing is of the essence when people want to discuss delicate matters and Kwaaley is supposed to know this.

How unscientific it is for Alex to wash his penis vigorously after sexual contact with his wife.  Though he is not a scientist, he is educated all the same and should know better.  Why is Sonia’s hair-do almost the same throughout the film in a motion picture that spans a couple of months?

Alex talks about a lifetime of protective sex.  Did he mean to say protected sex?

The story in Love or Something like That is built on a faulty premise because today, many churches demand recent HIV test results before joining couples in matrimony.  Therefore, a contemporary story of an HIV positive patient who discovers her status after her wedding is far-fetched.

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Amarachukwu Iwuala

Amarachukwu Iwuala

A writer … in pursuit of excellence

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