Directed by: – Lyndsey F. Efejuku,
Produced by: – Tampiri Irimagha-Akemu, Lolo Eremie
Starring: – Lolo Eremie, Jimmy Odukoya, Kiera Hewatch, Bucci Franklin, Temitope Olowoniyan, Temitope Olowoniyan, Ben Lugo Touitou, Adunni Ade
Runtime: – 98 minutes
GuynMan centers itself around Anaya “Naya” Ekiye (Lolo Eremie), a writer for a gossip magazine and Ikechwuku “IK” Mordi Jnr. (Jimmy Odukoya), a tech-head who have been the best of friends since university. They tell each other about their dating lives whether it is prosperous or in Ik’s case disastrous and have each other’s back and won’t let anything come in the way of their long-standing friendship. When Anaya runs out of article ideas for her magazine, she takes it upon herself to improve Ik’s dating life with a makeover and write a piece about it during the process. Madness ensues and the whole ordeal will leave the two questioning whether friends can be in love and not know it?
The picture of the day has had an interesting journey to the Nigerian cinemas. It had a lengthy development cycle and had to go through an unconventional route to get to the silver screen. Initially released in 2017, GuynMan had to make its first rounds through pop up screenings and other events. But despite the lack of initial outreach still did well enough to score itself some a nod. from the Africa magic Viewer Choice Awards. It’s genuinely exciting when a well-received movie within small circles gets its opportunity to shine on a grander stage. It also serves as Lolo’s debut film as a writer, producer and director and lead actor. Can this romantic comedy with its cast and premise, get greater recognition from the general audience?
- Lolo first lead performance is good one. She brings a lot charisma to the role of Naya, a writer for a gossip magazine with an unhealthy obsession for Akara. One moment she moves around with confidence and authority and others she becomes an emotional wreck that can give the audience a bad case of the feels with her words and expressions. Lolo steps up to the challenge and shows her potential as an up and coming actress in Nollywood.
- Jimmy Odukoya puts his best foot forward as an actor as Guyman gives him a great opportunity to take a Jekyll and Hyde approach to his role of IK. He plays the part of a goofy, socially awkward but sweet geek without a hitch and his transformation to Lagos big boy, while not completely realistic, is ultimately played for a few laugh and eye candy for the female audience (the movie even makes note of this with a car plate that says i-candy). The switch up in question allows him to play the role of charming arsehole with conviction and ultimately showcases his talents as a versatile actor with range.
- A movie of this nature lives and dies connection of its leads. In this case, both Lolo and Odukoya deliver in spades as they have a perfect rapport with each other. They are able to bounce off one another extremely well and you will completely buy that the couple
aregreat friends with the potential to be even more as their dialogue and interactions look so natural. This great chemistry anchors the movie down well and provides it with most of its charm.
- The movie has good supporting cast that are used well for the most part. Ireti Doyle breaks her stereotypical role of pretentious upper-class royalty and gets a refreshing performance as a bar manager with a sharp tongue and voice of reason in the madness that ensue. Adunni Ade is highlight of the movie as she gets the film’s biggest laughs in its final moments. Ben Lugo Touitou spices up the drama by playing Lanre the antagonist of sorts to Naya’s and Ik’s relationship as he gets comfortable being Naya’s undeserving boyfriend who is only in a relationship for intentions that benefit his music career.
- The film is bugged with sound and editing irregularities. The transitions between the scenes aren’t exactly smooth as they simply fade to black and make the movie feel a little disjointed at times. The sound quality varies and as a result is not consistent. They hurt the experience a little bit, but it’s not a deal breaker.
- The experience is also watered down with some pacing issues. Certain scenes are unnecessarily dragged out and feature fluff dialogue that only set the mood not move the story forward. Some others end abruptly before it has a chance to make its desired impact on the movie.
- If you are expecting any twist or turns, prepare to be disappointed in that regard. All the atypical story beets of a romantic comedy are present and accounted for and the plot as a result is completely predictable. At the end of the day originality is not king, rather execution is and the film succeeds in that regard for the most part.
GuynMan is a solid romantic comedy with charm and good performances from its well-rounded cast but it is also one that is unfortunately weighed down a little by some pacing and editing issues. A film worth checking out.