Lucky review – spirited Ghanaian romcom captures the social media age

An idling student enlists the help of a wideboy friend in pursuit of a hot date in a comedy that veers between likable and laddish

Here is a vibrant, idiosyncratic portrait of Ghanaian youth, bursting with wisecracks and a boyish restlessness. There is an amateurish shakiness to the visuals, but the film overcomes this with a lot of charm and an innate understanding of its young subjects.

University student Lucky (Kumi Obuoabisa) is a loafer who perpetually borrows money from his hardworking mother and enjoys a minor kind of social media fame. His screen – and the film’s screen – lights up with notifications every minute. To his surprise, he secures a date with gorgeous online “it girl” Nuttifafa (Jane Efya Awindor) but with no money to his name, Lucky calls on his friend Wadaada (Solomon Fixon-Owoo Jr), a hustler who prides himself on being able to sell anything. Together the pair try to unload a MacBook laptop, a seemingly uncomplicated task that entangles them with dangerous criminals.

These days, films about youth and social media are a dime a dozen but very few of them understand how young people actually talk on such platforms. The strength of Lucky is that it captures perfectly the banality of someone sliding into your DMs and is laugh-out-loud funny in its relatability. In a supporting part, Fixon-Owoo proves to be the real star. Wadaada’s various hustling schemes are amusing, but the character’s frustration with his conservative father lends a real depth to what could have been a caricature.

The laddish attitude of Lucky’s leads is jarring and at times uncomfortable; in their world, women seem to be either a nuisance or a prize. Perhaps such portraits are an indictment of young male behaviour in this age of fast-food romance. But given that the scenes are often played for laughs, Lucky crosses the dangerously thin line between satire and simple sexism.

  • Lucky is released on 10 May on digital platforms.

Contributor

Phuong Le

The GuardianTramp

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