Warning: Mild Spoilers Below!
13 Letters tells the story of a grieving, disappointed boy named Akinola ‘Owoblow’ Owolabi who grows up into a playboy leaving a string of broken hearts all over Lagos. Annoyed, his exes take to social media to air their frustrations which forces him to hire a Public Relations (PR) professional who pushes him to face the truth about himself.
The romance drama starts with some intense back story on the lead played by Kunle Remi. We see his origin story; how and why he decides to never fall in love.
Written by Pearl Agwu, directed and produced by Kayode Peters, the movie is filled with the usual player stereotypes — money, good looks, a failproof trick to get any girl out of his life, best friends who try to offer sound advice while being secretly envious of the lead. After the dramatic opening scenes, 13 Letters goes off the rails with badly performed dialogues, tacky dye jobs, fake accents, and unbelievably bad acting. The latter could be attributed to some of the cast. Apart from the lead, Mofe Duncan, Bimbo Ademoye, Bolanle Ninalowo, and Chris Iheuwa, some of the prominent faces in the movie have little to no acting experience and it shows.
Cast as Owoblow’s younger sister, Adedamola Adewole (Adeherself) can be seen repeating her lines. BBNaija’s Teddy A, who plays one of the lead’s best friends, struggles through his performances. The exes are portrayed as confused women who are angry with Owoblow yet also jealous of each other and still a little in love with the guy they ought to hate.
13 Letters is difficult to get through until Bimbo Ademoye shows up as the PR professional trying to save the lead’s reputation. Reminiscent of Hollywood movies like Hitch, the playboy meets his match in Bimbo’s character, the ‘One’ who refuses to fall for his charms. Faced with some resistance, we finally see some character growth from Owoblow for the first time. Like she did in Ayinla, Bimbo shines in her scenes, stealing your attention so you barely see the twist until it is right in your face. In usual Nollywood fashion, the movie tries to pass an important message about the unkind way people treat others until they are faced with the same situation.
13 Letters ends up being all over the place with a few good scenes sprinkled here and there with an unsatisfying ending for die-hard romantics.