|The Wedding Party|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kemi Adetiba|
|Edited by||Andrew Webber|
|Distributed by||FilmOne Distributions|
The Wedding Party is a 2016 Nigerian romantic comedy drama film directed by Kemi Adetiba. It premiered on 8 September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada and on 26 November 2016 at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. The film was released worldwide on 16 December 2016, and became the highest grossing Nigerian film; a record which was broken in 2017 by its sequel The Wedding Party 2.
The film takes place during the day and evening of the wedding between Dunni Coker (Adesua Etomi), a 24-year-old art gallery owner who is the only daughter of Bamidele and Tinuade Coker, and the IT entrepreneur Dozie Onwuka (Banky Wellington) who comes from a very wealthy family. His mother, Obianuju Onwuka, considers her son to be marrying beneath himself.
During the morning before the wedding, the wedding party is prepared and the stressed wedding planner Wonu is trying to make everything perfect for her rich clients. Meanwhile, the bride's parents and female relatives are upset by the omission of Tinuade Coker's name in the announcement in the paper, and the groom's parents share an uncomfortable breakfast while the mother talks disparagingly about the Coker family to her friends and is very cold towards her husband, Chief Felix Onwuka. Dunni is taunted by her female friends about her lack of sexual experience, and Dozie's male friends tease him about the previous night's bachelor party. The best man has been in an accident after the bachelor party, and the irresponsible Sola is chosen as his replacement.
During the wedding ceremony, guests and family are cheerful, with the exception of Obianuju Onwuka who pointedly refuses to pay any attention, to the embarrassment of Felix. Afterwards, while the cars are going from the ceremony to the party, Dunni finds a pair of women's underpants in the pocket of Dozie's dress jacket, and is upset. He convinces her that they had been planted there, probably by one of his friends, and they belatedly arrive at the party. A disagreement arises between the two pairs of parents about which group should enter the dining room first; eventually, the Onwukas, being the richer family, get the first entrance.
The dinner has its share of embarrassing incidents, including Tinuade Coker having hired a local Yoruba chef to cook an alternative to the fancy menu set by Obianuju Onwuka. When Sola gives his best man's speech, he accidentally shows video footage from the stag night instead of the video prepared by Dozie for the occasion, and the humiliated Dunni leaves the room after having witnessed what looks like Dozie being unfaithful to her. She is met outside the room by one of Dozie's old girlfriends, Rosie, who claims that she had sex with Dozie earlier that day - in reality, Rosie had tried to seduce him but failed. Dunni disappears from the venue in a taxi.
Dozie, his elder brother Nonso, and the two sets of parents set out to look for Dunni but are held up at gunpoint by a thief who has managed to get into the room with the wedding gifts. The tense situation causes the couples to open up to each other, with Dozie's mother confessing to her husband how unhappy she has been about his affairs with younger women, and Dunni's father admitting that his company has lost all its money. The couples reconcile, and Nonso manages to overpower the thief and take his gun. Dozie goes off in a car with Sola to find Dunni, and convinces her that he has in fact not broken their mutual promise of chastity. They return to the wedding party to dance the rest of the night away.
- Adesua Etomi as Dunni Coker (The Bride)
- Banky Wellington as Dozie Onwuka (The Groom)
- Richard Mofe Damijo as Chief Felix Onwuka (Father of the Groom)
- Sola Sobowale as Mrs. Tinuade Coker (Mother of the Bride)
- Iretiola Doyle as Lady Obianuju Onwuka (Mother of the Groom)
- Alibaba Akporobome as Engineer Bamidele Coker (Father of the Bride)
- Zainab Balogun as Wonu (The Wedding Planner)
- Enyinna Nwigwe as Nonso Onwuka (The Groom’s Brother)
- Somkele Iyamah-Idhalama as Yemisi Disu (Maid of Honour)
- Beverly Naya as Rosie (Groom's Ex-girlfriend)
- Daniella Down as Deardre Winston (Bridesmaid)
- Afeez Oyetoro as Ayanmale
- Ikechukwu Onunaku as Sola (Best Man)
- AY Makun as MC
- Emmanuel Edunjobi as Woli (The priest)
- Kunle Idowu as Harrison
The film was produced by ELFIKE Film Collective. Directed by Kemi Adetiba. The ELFIKE Film Collective is a partnership of four major production houses in Nigeria: EbonyLife Films, FilmOne Distribution, Inkblot Productions and Koga Studios, respectively.
The film premiered in Toronto on 8 September 2016 at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
In August 2017, the film was made available on Netflix.
The Wedding Party has received favourable reviews from critics. According to Chidumga Izuzu of Pulse Nigeria, "It is distinctly a comedy movie that sets out to entertain. It doesn't try to be an action, thriller, crime, adventure film, a documentary or all at once. It doesn't set out to be deep and have you feeling 'intense'. It understands its chosen genre and it sticks to it".
Nollywood Reinvented rated the film 54% and stated, "As a movie lover, I will be watching this again within the next 7 days. As a critic... once we get past the party it's a cheese fest."
Cinema Axis' Courtney Small stated, "The Wedding Party may not offer many surprises from a narrative standpoint, but there is no denying that the film is a pure crowd-pleaser. Generating many well-earned belly laughs, it is impossible to leave the film without a huge smile on one’s face."
Isabella Akinseye praised and as well criticized the film. She praised the film for its entertainment, costume, star wattage, Sola Sobowale and collaboration while she criticised the script, pacing and casting.
Wilfred Okiche of ynaija has this to say about Kemi Adetiba and her role as director; "Apart from some red flags, like the overbearing wedding speech by the father of the groom for instance, the haves and haves not sub plot involving Sambassa Nzeribe, and the entire existence of Hafiz Oyetoro’s gate crashing character, Adetiba keeps things moving briskly".
Temitope Adeiye of thenet.ng stated that The Wedding Party was the best film he saw in 2016.
- "The Wedding Party". Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- "LONG READ: How The Wedding Party became the biggest critical and commercial Nollywood success story". 31 December 2016.
- "Nollywood's biggest-ever movie, The Wedding Party, now available on Netflix".
- Animashaun, Damilola (23 January 2018). "'The Wedding Party 2' Is Now The Highest-Grossing Nollywood Film Ever". Konbini Nigeria. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
- Kemi Adetiba theweddingpartymovies.com Retrieved 19 August 2016
- Ebonylife TV News Ebonylivetv.com Retrieved 19 August 2016.
- ""The Wedding Party" assembles needed features for a perfect laugh-out-loud comedy".
- "The Wedding Party Review". Nollywood Reinvented. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- "TIFF 2016: The Wedding Party".