Mad About You wastes no time in telling you it is focused on the glam and vile of celebrity. In the opening scene, Dami (Blossom Chukwujekwu), an A-list Nollywood actor, proposes to his girlfriend, Nkechi (Linda Osifo), another Nollywood actress on a beach, and the moment is captured by a camera crew. You know celebrity lifestyles warrants that even intimate moments be captured and uploaded on the social media for likes and shares.
Nkechi, referred to as just Kech, is the more problematic of the couple; she is in an unhealthy, one-sided rivalry with another actress, Tiwa. Her obsession with outdoing Tiwa creates some friction in her relationship with Dami, who then turns to Ella, his sister’s friend, for some comfort. The character Ella is familiar if you’re a fan of romantic movies. That ordinary girl that brings calm to a man in a high-profile relationship that causes him a headache, and in most Nigerian romcoms is an excellent cook, unlike the star. It is an unoriginal narrative but wetin concern a Nollywood romcom with originality?
Ella is a chef who offers home deliveries. Dami is initially drawn to her because of her food, then she helps him practice for an audition for a Hollywood role which he got. As they spend time together, his fondness for her grows while his tolerance for Kech dwindles. A picture of Dami and Ella kissing somehow lands on social media; his fiancée sees it, they have a fight, and he denies Ella on national TV, only to fall back into her arms again. It is a cliched narrative that always works in ordinary-person-and-celebrity romcoms even though it gets tiring. A love triangle happens but love wins eventually.
The cast does brilliantly: Chukwujekwu is his usual charming self even though Nollywood continues to betray his talents with straightforward roles. His leading partner, Osifo, is charismatic as a clout-chasing Nollywood actress. Their chemistry works seamlessly. BBNaija’s Ifu Ennada, who impressed in Judith Audu’s Obsession, is unsurprisingly pleasant in a supporting role as Nkechi’s sister who checks her celebrity excesses. There is something about Ennada and it would be interesting to see her play a lead role.
Mad About You is also a satire on celebrity. The film tackles poignantly the excesses of celebrity: doing everything for the camera, the need to appear rich and perfect, and the diva like attitude that comes with being a star. The toxic association of everything in a celeb’s life with their brand. It does not matter if the person suffers as long as the brand stays strong everyone—minus the celebrity—is happy. Whilst Dami’s relationship with Kech is deteriorating, his manager, Alex (Stephen Damian), is not worried about their happiness but the life of the relationship which is the basis of an endorsement deal.
Even with its enjoyable cast and satire on celebrity, Mad About You is a typical forgetful Nollywood romcom: compelling, hilarious, but lacking in cinematic quality. There are no superb shots. There is nothing to say about the cinematography. Ditto, the film’s editing. It is just a combination of good casting, repetitive narrative, and lots of laughs, and in Nollywood, that’s not always a bad thing.