Fine Wine (2021) directed by Seyi Babatope, a well known Nigerian American filmmaker is around 2 hours 10 minutes long. The film features names like Richard “RMD” Mofe Damijo, Demola Adedoyin, Ego Nwosu, Segun Arinze, Zainab Balogun and many more. A feel-good romantic movie at its core, the dialogues are mostly in English with English subtitles.
Fine Wine 2021 revolves around quite a famous trope of an age-gap romance between Seye George (Richard Mofe Damijo) and Kaima (Oge Nwosu). The synopsis of the movie reads, “After falling for a woman much younger than him, a wealthy, lonely man must confront the social stigma around age gap romances.”
– Fine Wine review does not contain spoilers –
The film starts with a voice-over intermixed with shorts from someone’s birthday party. It is obvious that the speaker is talking about the protagonist of the film, who he has been friends with for a very long time. The director has made sure to include long shots of walls filled with accolades and trophies to highlight how successful the protagonist, Seye George, is.
Cliches are an important part of Fine Wine. However, unlike many other romance movies, Seyi Babatope has made the cliches work with his fine creative workmanship. The dramatic element of the film adds a touch of comic relief and also helps in portraying the exuberant culture of Africa and Nollywood. The cliches work and it does capture the interest of the viewer with ease.
Seye George (Richard Mofe Damijo) and Kaima (Oge Nwosu) are phenomenal on screen. Their chemistry radiates off the screen and makes the viewer wish that they were together. Oge Nwosu’s portrayal of a modern African woman whose career goals often conflict with her relationship resonates with the viewer. The viewer cannot help but wish that she achieves her desired job.
Seye George’s relationship with his children is quite cold, they miss their father’s birthday party to attend other social gatherings. Seye tries his best to involve his kids in conversation but they remain quite detached from him. Seye’s relationship with his former wife is quite tricky. Throughout the film, the viewer keeps thinking about the dynamics of this relationship.
Kaima’s relationship with her partner is also not the best one. Kaima keeps on asking him to take her to dates and help her with her work but he keeps coming up with excuses and ditches her constantly. Kaima’s and Seye’s first scene together is not a meet-cute, in fact, it is quite the contrary. As the film proceeds, we get to see the fun of Seye’s character while wishing that Kaima breaks up with her boyfriend.
However, the professional relationship between the three of them–Kaima is subordinate to her boyfriend who works at a bank owned by none other than Seye, keep them together. The scenes with the three of them are uncomfortable and that is exactly what the director had intended for. The dynamic between Kaima and Seye’s daughter is not how one could expect it to be in a mainstream rom-com movie. It is warm and friendly and makes the viewer wants to be a part of the group.
Summing up: Fine Wine
Fine Wine plays around an age-old cliché. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. There is a conflict. Boy and Girl overcome it. They have a happily ever after. However, in spite of this, the viewer is glued to the screen because if done well, clichés do work. Fine Wine is old wine in a new bottle, but it is good wine nevertheless. It is supposed to be a feel-good film and it works. It is not novel and does not claim to be so and it is this honestly that wins the viewer over.
Fine Wine is streaming on Netflix.