The Buzz | 21 August 2011 06:06 CET

Player no more

By Titilayo Olurin

A lady swears to stay off men but as soon as she reaches this decision, she meets 'Prince Charming' who sweeps her off her feet. This is the dilemma Delphine is faced with in the movie 'Kiss and Tell'.

The Desmond Elliot-directed romantic comedy is Monalisa Chinda's latest production in collaboration with Emem Isong. Chinda and Elliot join other actors, including Joseph Benjamin, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Uche Jombo, in the movie which revolves around themes of love, passion and betrayal.

The first scene introduces us to close friends and business partners Iyke (Benjamin) and Bernard (Elliot). Iyke is the smooth talker who uses his charms to advantage and quickly clinches a business deal from under Bernard's nose, making for some tension between the two.

During a face-off, the partners make a bet: Iyke must bed Delphine within ten days or hand over his five percent controlling shares to Bernard. While Iyke is confident that he will easily complete this task, Bernard believes it is impossible and waits eagerly for the shares. It is this bet that sets in motion the events in the movie.

Delphine, played by Chinda, is the dynamic and intelligent lawyer at the centre of the bet. She represents the independent woman who is determined to put a broken marriage behind her, burying herself in her work instead. However, it becomes increasingly difficult for her to stick with this resolve as the ever charming Iyke does not take no for an answer.

Benjamin proves capable in the role of a confident player. As Iyke, he reminds you of Benjamin Barry in Donald Petrie's 'How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days'. The bet between Iyke and his friend is similar to that in the Hollywood film. Just like Barry, Iyke soon discovers that it is not as easy a task as he had imagined. Nollywood's Benjamin's delivery of his lines is good but nonetheless seems too rehearsed.

Nse Ikpe Etim's role as the vivacious Tena, one of Delphine's friends, is commendable. Her character is definitely a major source of humour in the movie and quickly overshadows the other friends. When she learns about the bet, she sets out to help Delphine, to prevent Iyke from achieving his aim.

If you are not a fan of Desmond Elliot, you certainly would be when you watch this movie. His facial expressions and gestures with perfect delivery of his lines combine to make his acting flawless and effortless. Uche Jombo and Darlene Benson's roles could well be done without as they are of very little significance to the development of the plot.

Besides its many moments of humour, the dialogue can be said to be one of the movie's most appealing features. However, like many Nollywood films, 'Kiss and Tell' has its own share of disappointments. To begin with, there is this feeling you have seen the movie before. This is not just because Emem Isong always uses the same actors in her movies but because the plot seems a clear imitation of 'How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days'.

Not surprisingly, 'Kiss and Tell' seems to run on endlessly with unnecessary subplots and when it finally ends, it does so rather blandly and predictably. The fact that it is a Nigerian movie with hardly any indigenous names, also leaves much to be desired.

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