Love with an im­proper stranger

The Province - - ENTERTAINMENT - CHRIS KNIGHT ck­[email protected]­media.com twit­ter.com/chrisknight­film

I get it: Love Jacked wants to Cute-Nap you with its plot about a woman who gets a com­plete stranger to pre­tend to be her fi­ance, then make you an Emo-Hostage while you see how it turns out. Trou­ble is, the film feels like a sec­ond-rate ’90s rom-com that was given 20 years for in­ap­pro­pri­ate flirt­ing, and only just made pa­role. You may want to bail.

Am­ber Stevens West stars as Maya, an artist who takes an im­promptu trip to Africa, meets a charm­ing stranger, gets en­gaged – then finds him with an­other woman, calls it off, and high­tails it home. The End? I wish. Her hard-as-nails dad (Keith David), is ex­pect­ing to meet and in­tim­i­date a prospec­tive son-in-law, so she en­lists a petty crim­i­nal (Shamier An­der­son), to pose as “Mtumbie,” her be­trothed.

Al­fons Ade­tuyi di­rects from a script co-writ­ten by his brother Robert and Linda Eske­land, and I’d dearly like to know which of them crafted this line: “That’s the first sen­si­ble thing you’ve said since you reached pu­berty.”

Love Jacked hits all the pop-mu­sic mon­tages and fall­ing-in-love mo­ments you’d ex­pect. But the open­ing third of the movie is at least 30 per cent stock footage of planes land­ing, wind­ing roads and es­tab­lish­ing shots of cities. It’s pretty, but lack­ing in per­son­al­ity.

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