One of the best parts about movies, tv shows, and web series is the fact that they can originate from any country, and with any language. While we are all very used to mainstream Hollywood these days, not enough credit goes to African cinema, and today we’re about to review an African movie that was released on the 13th of January and is now available to stream on Netflix. 2023 isn’t just a good year for Hollywood, but movies from all over the world, and we will try and cover as many of them as possible.
The movie we are going to be reviewing today is Disconnect: The Wedding Planner directed by David “Tosh” Gitonga. Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is a sequel to the 2018 movie, Disconnect, although the theme this time around is fairly different and a lot more entertaining. Tosh is best known for his work on Nairobi Half Life, which was a different genre altogether. So, Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is new grounds for the director and maybe that’s a little noticeable from time to time. The movie has received very mixed reviews from critics and audiences, so let’s dive into it and see how feel about it.
Disconnect: The Wedding Planner – A Lively Romantic Comedy or a Dragged-on Drama?
Before we talk about how we felt about Disconnect: The Wedding Planner, let’s discuss the basic premise for those who haven’t watched it, and might decide to stream it based on this review. Disconnect: The Wedding Planner hasn’t been widely popular amongst audiences, and a lot of that has to do with African movies not being able to crack into the mainstream movies categories just yet, but there’s plenty of effort, and that matters a lot. Back to Disconnect: The Wedding Planner. This movie revolves around our main character Otis, who is as flawed as they come. He is a man who enjoys sex, and alcohol and prefers to have no emotional connection with women, and this is clarified in the first scene of Disconnect: The Wedding Planner. While Otis’s sex life is a grand success, his work life? Not so much. Otis is looking after his mother’s business, who had passed it on to him, and things clearly haven’t gone as planned. However, there is finally a potential investor, and that’s where the movie really begins.
Otis will do just about anything to impress his investor, and that includes planning an elaborate Nigerian wedding. The bride and groom let Otis know about the specifics, and Otis is more than confident about taking on this position. But as the time comes closer, Otis decides it’s a destination wedding and he has nothing prepared. So, after a lot of convincing, he and his friends decide to fly all the way across the country to make this wedding happen.
On paper, this is the perfect plot for a romantic comedy. Because you’ve got the one main guy who has his walls up, you have a couple who is in therapy, and a few other characters who have their own problems, all put together in one hotel. It could make for a brilliant romantic comedy, and while Disconnect: The Wedding Planner had its moments, as a movie, it wasn’t as good as it could have been. One of the main problems that we noticed with Disconnect: The Wedding Planner, was the number of characters that were introduced in very short intervals, making it very different to keep up. There were far too many characters, with far too much happening, and we almost couldn’t understand who knew who and how until maybe the last thirty minutes of the movie. Also, one of the best things about romantic comedies is that you can occasionally glance at your phone or look into your bowl of popcorn and not miss anything, but sadly, that wasn’t the case with Disconnect: The Wedding Planner. One minute was missed and three new sub-plots were introduced.
Disconnect: The Wedding Planner would have been a lot better if the focus remained on one thing. The director and writers tried to tell multiple stories in a short amount of time, and that’s where Disconnect: The Wedding Planner lost its charm. So many different stories simply got lost in the plot, and none of them were given the attention that they deserved.
For example, if you watched Disconnect: The Wedding Planner, and we quizzed you about it an hour later, you would barely remember the names of any characters because as we discuss this movie, something else popped up: Otis had a child too! It was details like these that deserved more attention. The characters deserved more character growth, especially Otis. Sure, Otis and TK had a lovely ending where they kiss and make up after Otis had an epiphany, but it simply wasn’t enough for the audience.
Needless to say, Disconnect: The Wedding Planner wasn’t the romantic comedy that we hoped for, but it had a few good things that we admire. African culture and pride were showcased beautifully in Disconnect: The Wedding Planner, along with some flawed female friendships. TK was one of our favorite characters in this movie, and if Disconnect is eventually turned into a trilogy, we really hope the third movie focuses solely on TK and Otis, and their journey together. If you are not familiar with the Kenyan or Nigerian culture, then Disconnect: The Wedding Planner will definitely teach you a thing or two about them, and that was something we surely appreciated. Netflix needs more diversity when it comes to movies, and they seem to be on the right track this year.
Disconnect: The Wedding Planner might leave you a little confused and disappointed, especially since the majority of the characters are not very likable, which is very rare for a romantic comedy. Nevertheless, for the sake of trying something new in 2023, we would say Disconnect: The Wedding Planner is a one-time watch. But if you plan on looking at your phone or answering an email, then we can guarantee that you will miss out on a sub-plot or two!