Netflixable? BFFs hook up with the same guy for “A Sunday Affair”

“A Sunday Affair” is a soapy love-triangle melodrama bathed in Nigerian affluence. The plotting is obvious, the acting stiff and stagebound and the payoff an eye-roller.

Aside from that…

An opening montage lets us see that Uche and Toyim have been friends since childhood, looking for love and success in greater Lagos, getting cynical about at least one of those goals by their early 20s, still single when they attend the stylish, tony wedding for Uche’s sister in their late 30s.

Uche ( Nse Ikpe-Etim) runs an art gallery, thanks to a little help from a “sugar daddy.”

“I like my men married,” she cracks. “Much less hassle.”

That’s how she hooks up with “Sunday,” aka Akim (Oris Erhuero) at that wedding. Her BFF Toyim (Dakore Egbuson-Akande) catches up with them post-coitus, and lets her bestie and her bestie’s hook-up know that she knows he’s married.

A chance cross-country train ride pairs up “the marrying kind” Toyim with Akim for a long chat, where she buys his pitch that he’s getting divorced from his “American wife.”

Now Toyim is interested. Now she’s forgetting the guy hooked up with her bestie. Now she’s having second thoughts about the reason for that train ride, her trek to a fertility clinic. She’s not waiting on the right man to come along and father her baby.

“Your body, your choice,” Akim says, recycling the hottest pickup line of the past 25 years.

Soon our player is hooking up with both, getting guilted by his brother, and struggling with the decision of whether to divorce and which woman to choose as we wonder which bestie will spill the tea about “this new man in my life” first.

The Nigerian setting is the main novelty in this flatlining melodrama. Posh homes and fancy restaurants, sex in Porsches, this is a Lagos version of Tyler Perry’s Atlanta, aspirational and African, not African-American, with midnight walks on the beach as an added bonus.

Toss in a little cultural sexism and woman-on-woman judgement and you still don’t have enough conflict to spark this script to life. The cast is just good enough to make you notice their wooden readings of wooden dialogue (in English).

But like most Nigerian films one finds when traveling “Around the World with Netflix,” the Nollywood polish at least gives it a gloss that makes “A Sunday Affair” neatly fit in with the other international films on the streaming service, even if the screenwriting and acting isn’t quite up to par.

Rating: TV-MA, sex, nudity, profanity

Cast: Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Nse Ikpe-Etim and Oris Erhuero

Credits: Directed by Walter Taylour, scripted by Darrel Bristow-Bovey. A Netflix release.

Running time: 1:36


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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