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.


Phuong Le

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Incredible Jessica James review – Netflix swipes right at romcom, with tepid results
Daily Show and 2 Dope Queens star Jessica Williams navigates the tricky world of online dating aided by Chris O’Dowd in an amiable if underwhelming comedy

Peter Bradshaw

28, Jul, 2017 @5:00 AM

Article image
A Faithful Man review – drearily frothy French romcom
The female objects of desire in this disappointing ménage à trois comedy by Louis Garrel are more fantasies than characters

Cath Clarke

23, Aug, 2019 @6:00 AM

Article image
Souad review – shrewd and poignant study of social media identities
The lives of three young Egyptians become tragically entangled in Ayten Amin’s sharp, subtle coming-of-age drama

Peter Bradshaw

26, Aug, 2021 @8:33 AM

Article image
Jumbo review – a tender, kooky love story between girl and … fairground ride
Noémie Merlant tempts fete with a bizarre crush in a drama that turns its odd premise into an emotional rollercoaster

Phuong Le

07, Jul, 2021 @3:00 PM

Article image
All Hands on Deck review – fresh and funny French holiday romance
A romantic surprise has unexpected consequences in a gentle comedy channelling Éric Rohmer crossed with Carry on Camping

Peter Bradshaw

04, Aug, 2021 @9:00 AM

Article image
Relationship Status: It’s Complicated review – a barely amusing romcom
Manu Paye plays a monkey-featured commitmentphobe torn between interchangeable women in this bog-standard French comedy, writes Leslie Felperin

Leslie Felperin

25, Sep, 2014 @8:45 PM

Article image
Hollywood swipes right for Tinder-based romantic comedy
Worst Tinder Date Ever, from the writers of Friends With Benefits, will be the first film to explore the dating app on the big screen

Benjamin Lee

19, Jul, 2016 @9:29 AM

Article image
Love You Forever review – loopy, time-bending romcom
The story of a Chinese dancer who discovers a novel based on her own life and written by a mysterious admirer has a certain charm but outstays its welcome

Mike McCahill

26, Aug, 2020 @3:00 PM

Article image
Mother's Day review – Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts in skin-crawlingly smug romcom
With bland emotional manipulation, Garry Marshall’s follow-up to Valentine’s Day is as funny as a fire in an asbestos factory neighbouring a children’s hospital

Peter Bradshaw

09, Jun, 2016 @9:45 PM

Article image
Jalouse review – female rage seen through a pre-#MeToo lens
The Foekinos brothers’ sometimes tone-deaf romcom pits women against women in the pursuit of men

Leslie Felperin

03, Oct, 2018 @2:00 PM