A couple of weekends ago, I decided to finally get round to watching two of the most talked about by my peers and arguably most advertised movies after Black Panther. Yes, Netflix was definitely making a song and dance about the one and women and men engaged in probably the biggest relationship debate of all time, so in terms of word of mouth, it did pretty well. As a particularly non-eventful weekend, I invited my good friend Nicola over and with wine and popcorn in abundance, we decided to delve into the wormhole of frequent lamentation and even more frequent “let’s pause and let that sink in” moments, that were ultimately caused by Netflix’s Nappily Ever After and Tyler Perry’s Acrimony.
First up on the movie mini- marathon playlist was Nappily Ever After, which we watched on a Friday evening. I stress the fact that this was a Friday because, after a particularly harrowing and beyond busy week, the selection of entertainment really shouldn’t leave you with more questions than answers neither should it have any business dabbling in a weak storyline. We really needed the good stuff, the movie that would blow our minds and have us dumbfounded by bedtime, the next morning and beyond. Were we dumbfounded? No. Basically, after having a colleague harp on about its “awesomeness” and succumbing to the volley of Youtube ads, I was finally convinced that I should watch it, and boy was I disappointed. I remember I was so confused and emo about it, that I wrote an entire thread about it on Twitter.
So for the benefit of those that haven’t watched it yet, a word to the wise- DON’T DO IT. There were a few people that had advised me of the same but because of my high propensity for FOMO, I went ahead and did it anyway. If you’re going to take my advice or you’ve watched it already, keep reading. If not, good luck! In the meantime, I will share with you a little synopsis of the storyline. So basically, Nappily Ever After is about a girl who is somewhat obsessed with her straightened hair, almost mad obsessed to the extent that any sign of rain is a real-life nightmare. One day, the worst day of her life happens and her hair gets rained on, meaning she has to now go to an unfamiliar salon because her mum and hairdresser didn’t come through. Said salon messes up her hair because the main hairdresser’s (who happens to be male) daughter (who we honestly thought was a boy for the first half of the movie) mixed up relaxer cream and hot oil treatment. At this point, we already had about 10 questions. Homegirl naturally throws her toys out because her prized possession is ruined, clumps of hair were falling out, which basically meant her world is falling apart. Fast forward, she gets a good weave and life goes on. So it’s her birthday and she’s excited because she assumes live-in bae is going to finally pop the question after 2 or so odd years of being together since she had discovered “the box” hidden (not really) in some closet. Birthday dinner happens and boom, it’s actually a tag for a cute little dog. She calls for an intervention in the bathroom, calms down for the sake of her guests and accepts Fifi or whatever the ridiculously cliche name of the dog was into her life. She then confronts bae later on at home, indicating that she thought he was going to do the proposing thing that night? Boyfriend basically tells her he’s not ready, he barely knows who she is…he harps on some nonsense that indicates he’s not ready to settle down now or in the near future. She throws him out. Fast forward, She goes out on terrible dates, has a meltdown, shaves her head, becomes ashamed of said shaved head then finds confidence to rock it. Befriends hairdresser’s daughter(yes, the one that basically burnt her hair off) sort of has a thing with said hairdresser, hair grows, quits her job, gets back together with former bae, he finally proposes, turns out former bae is still a douche, everybody jumps into the swimming pool. The end.
As nonsensical as that was, imagine watching an entire 90 minutes and seeing it unfold frame by frame. But one thing I picked up though, which was a bit disturbing and sort of transcends into real life relationships was when the boyfriend basically told her that he’s had issues with her for the last two years, like he basically didn’t know her. My bone of contention is that if she hadn’t had this meltdown, they literally would’ve continued coasting around this relationship to nowhere. I was now curious to know what the basis of the relationship was about since communication, as big as it should be in any relationship, was clearly lacking in this one. I mean, if you don’t air out what you’re uncomfortable with, or at the very least, things that you like, then what’s the point? What’s then the glue that’s supposedly holding you together if you’re not 100% happy with the status quo?
Not to dwell too much into Nappily ever after, the next day, we attempted Acrimony. This was more of what we were looking for as it had us clutching at our pearls and taking several pause and wine breaks due to its emotional rollercoaster-esque nature. Storyline aside, in true Tyler Perry fashion, there were quite a number of scenes where things were a bit over-dramaticized ie When Melinda drove her car into the caravan, those injuries surely couldn’t have robbed her of her ovaries right? But, who am I to say, I ain’t no doctor. Also her stalking was a bit much…the question I still have up until now is HOW THE HECK DID SHE GET ON THE BOAT!?!?!?!? Other than that, and I know quite a number of people may think otherwise, I thought the movie was brilliant and the hell hath no fury storyline was played pretty well albeit the overkill. It was also pretty cool to see a mini-crossover of one of the actors from the movie we had watched the night before- Lyriq Bent, who had played hairdresser guy, Will in Nappily, was now Robert, the protagonist’s husband in Acrimony. In the interest of word count and because it’s such a good movie, I would recommend you watch it for yourself if you haven’t already done so.
Now, getting into the nitty gritty and lessons/relatable scenes I could pick up from Acrimony. The obvious theme, Melinda’s patience and resilience. Despite every disappointment at every turn from Robert, Melinda stuck it out to the point of her picking her man over her family who could clearly see what it was doing to her. Robert eventually made it, despite it being after 18 or so arduous years but as it was a little too late, Melinda had since tapped out. At this point, Nikki and I did a standing ovation, we were beyond fed up on Melinda’s behalf, Robert had really outdone himself in doing the most. Oftentimes he’d even gaslight her by pointing out that she still wasn’t supporting him enough in shielding him from her family despite him having burnt through all her money. Ungrateful much? But against the odds, and honestly through the patience of high school fling, Diana, he eventually made it. This sort of reminds me of the little picture of 2 guys digging towards diamonds with the other guy giving up just before the jackpot whereas the second guy keeps digging emphatically because he believes a breakthrough is nigh. But, how long is too long to hold on? In this case, Melinda was the epitome of “standing with your man through thick and thin” and said man only got to the breakthrough soon after she had called it quits. He then eventually paid her back “everything” he owed her in monetary value but was it really enough? That then was the crux of the great debate. Personally, I think no. The money was never enough- you can never put a value on loyalty, compromise, belief and sacrifice. How do you quantify emotional investment? How do you repay someone who has supported you with their all and pretty much protected you not only from the world but from their family? Someone who believed in you so much that everything they own went into supporting your dream. Nope, money can never be enough. I’m not sure what is, but money isn’t it.
Basically that was my experience on these two movies. There are definitely a lot more issues that need to be explored further on both, which I will expand on in future posts. Let me know what you think about Nappily Ever After and Acrimony and how you felt about the addressed and non-addressed issues.