Sep 24, 2021

"Crazy Lovely Cool": Beefcake and Bonding at a Prestigious Nigerian University


Nigeria is one of the least gay-friendly countries in the world, but I still wanted to check out the Nollywood teen drama Crazy, Lovely, Cool (in spite of the silly title). It's a "coming of age story" set at a prestigious university, so there's bound to be some West African beefcake, like Ennyina Nwigwe, named "Sexiest Man Alive" by the gay-coded Man Magazine in 2020. Plus looking at another culture is always interesting.

Scene 1: On campus.  A female rapper, Boma,  is performing for a group of students while a girl named Funmi tries to get their attention with fliers about a blood drive: "It's your social responsibility."  She is not successful: students refuse fliers, or take them and throw them away immediately.

Scene 2:
In a recording studio, the rapper Luciano (Emmanuel Emelu) is trying to record his latest song, but he can't "feel it."   His manager tells him to be professional and perform anyway.  They argue.

Meanwhile, the rapper Boma is finished.  Funmi talks more about the blood drive. Students jeer, call her a vampire, and walk away.

Across campus, guys are gambling with dice.  Wheezy  has no money, so he bets his backpack.

Scene 3: In a dorm room, Izu (Ennyina Nwigwe, top photo) is blogging about the Blitz, a dance party held for entering freshmen during Matriculation Week.  He strarts wheezing, but can't find his inhaler, so he calls Wheezy: it's in the backpack he gambled away!  (Question: why isn't the guy with breathing problems called Wheezy?)

Wheezy continues gambling and loses, but he grabs the backpack anyway and runs,  with all the other guys chasing him.  They chase him through the entire campus, and finally catch him and beat him up.  But he manages to retrieve the inhaler.

Back at the dorm room, Izu accidentally dropped his cigarette on some papers.  The room fills with smoke.  Izu drops to the ground, dying.

Scene 4: Luciano happens to be walking by.  He smells the smoke, bursts into the room, and saves Izu.  Finally Wheezy arrives with the inhaler.  

Away from campus, Funmi and her friends discuss how blood donation is much too progressive for conservative Nigeria.  This isn't America!  A car stops, and guys help the semi-unconscious Izu out.

Scene 5: Rapper Boma and her group in the chapel, waiting for a Gospel choir to finish rehearsing so they can have the space.  They discuss Boma's brother Luciano, who is gradually adjusting to college life.  He's supposed to be here.  What happened to him?

Cut to the hospital, where Luciano, Wheezy, and the girls are waiting for word on Izu.  Boma calls and accuses Luciano of "chatting up girls" instead of coming to rehearsal.  He explains that he was saving someone's life, then runs across campus to the chapel.  They perform.

Scene 6:
At the chapel, Boma says "Babe, I got to go, I have rehearsal."  To Nkemi, a woman?  WTF?  Nigerian TV allows lesbians?  No, just her roommate  Nkemi is engaged to abusive, super-religious Matthew (Ademola Alao), who catches her talking to Boma and is furious.  "Don't force me to beat you again!"  Worried that she's friends with a lesbian?

Scene 7: Back at the dorm, the next day: Izu has an epiphany.  He almost died, and he's writing a blog about campus gossip?  And a new kind of bra?  Who the heck cares? (Wheezy wants to see it).  He should be writing about serious issues, like Funmi's Blood Drive.

Boma finishes jogging and returns to the dorm room.  She tells her other roommate, Nana,  "Babe, you should have gone jogging with me."  She babes everyone?   Nana has an unrequited crush on Izu.  

Scene 8:  Luciano approaches Izu to get thanked for saving his life, and to ask for a write-up in his blog.  

Another guy returns to his dorm room with his girlfriend, and starts having sex in front of his roommate.  She complains about his low grades and missed tests.

Scene 9:  Nkemi is in her room, trying to read while her roommates try on bras.  They find a photo of a girl hidden in her Bible, and laugh at her for her aspirations to be a model (I would conclude that she was a closeted lesbian).  

Scene 10:  It's time for the Blitz!  Everyone dances while rappers perform.  Unfortunately, Luciano has scheduled his rap concert for the same night, and no one shows up.  He and his manager have a heart-to-heart, and hug.  Maybe a gay subtext going on?

Scene 11:  Later, some older students take freshmen boys, including Luciano, into the woods for a blindfolded beating.  Luciano falls to the ground, foaming at the mouth, dying.   The end.

Beefcake: None.  Only Nwigwe has beefcake photos online.  It was nearly impossible to find photos of any sort of most of the cast, including Gideon Ike, Swanky JKA, Ifeanyi Bosah, or Igwe David.  And why are these collegiate hunks all in their 30s?  Nwigwe is 39!

Other Sights:
  A lot of the campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, but we don't see any of the more impressive buildings.   Run-down, graffiti-covered buildings, laundry hanging from dorm room balconies.

Languages: Students occasionally lapse into  Nigerian Pidgin.  No Fulani, Ibo, or Hausa.

Heterosexism:  The girls discuss boys a lot, but the boys don't discuss girls.  We see heterosexual interest only in Wheezy looking at bras and the unidentified guy having sex in front of his roommate.

Gay Characters:  Izu might have a gay subtext coming on.  Maybe Luciano, too, if he survives the first episode.   I'm interested in seeing more of Boma (Chinonye Chidolue), who is exceptionally butch and calls other girls "babe." 

My Grade: C+.

1 comment:

No comments that use abusive or vulgar language or point out that a character is Not Wearing a Sign. DO NOT use the term "homosexual." Don't worry if a photo does not depict the person mentioned; beefcake is beefcake.

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