Nappily Ever After

It's always sad when a story so close to someone's heart turns out to be a complete disaster when finally made into film. "Nappily Ever After" is one of those cases. This is a project that had the makings of an excellent crowdpleaser which were ravaged by an incompetent direction.

Sanaa Lathan plays Violet - a woman with huge self-confidence complexes, who was told from the childhood by her mother that she needs to straighten her naturally curly tresses in order to be "perfect" i.e. to fit in "white" environment. I won't go into psychological nuances harboured inside this tale and which the movie heavily oversimplified because, after all, it's a romantic comedy with a traditional for the genre set of cliches. Movies like this don't need to have the subtlety of a Paul Thomas Anderson joint to be enjoyable. "Nappily Ever After" was required to achieve only two things: 1) to have a good message everybody could relate to; and 2) to make an old-school romcom magic work. The screenwriters have accomplished the first task, while the filmmaker Haifaa Al-Mansour entirely bombed the second.

This film is an insipid, laugh-free, chemistry-deprived dud, made by a person who has a very loose understanding of how movies should work. Fiascos like this give Netflix Originals a bad name.