Directed by Michelle Bello, “Before Valentine’s” was first released to Nigerian cinemas in 2022 and then brought to Netflix on the 3rd of February 2023. The movie follows the drama-filled lives of four hairdressers in a salon and the unprecedented twists and turns their love lives take on the day before Valentine’s day
The movie starred the likes of Yvonne Jegede, Shawn Faqua, Meg Otanwa, Uche Nwaefuna, Ben Touitou, Teddy A, Bolaji Ogunmola, Venita Akpofure, Baaj Adebule, Elozonam Ogbolu, amongst others.
One of our favourite things about the movie is that about 99% of the plot was set in one day. This feat is uncommon for Nollywood movies, and writing it definitely would have required a bit of creativity, so kudos to the writers. However, it left lots of room for loopholes and far-stretched storylines. Regardless of this, Before Valentine made an effort to be as realistic as possible and although the entire plot isn’t airtight, Michelle Bello did a good job directing it.
With plots like this, continuity is usually a huge part because while the audience might be watching a one-day event, it probably took weeks or, at the very least, days to film. The movie achieved a level of continuity that is found to be lacking in many other Nollywood movies, and that is worthy of high accolades to the continuity team. They did a good job covering it up if there were continuity errors.
Set design-especially the saloon was top-notch. We would definitely be okay with sitting in that space for hours to get our hair or nails done, not to mention the non-stop juicy drama unfolding by the minute. Any woman who watches this movie can attest that the saloon is a sure plug for hearing the wildest stories and gossip. Some gave off the Nigerian version of the ‘Barbershop’ vibe.
Some interesting conversations and discussions took place in this movie, especially regarding Valentine’s day. Both popular and unpopular opinions were dissected, making us feel as if we could jump in and share our own opinions too.
Whilst the dialogue, for the most part, was as realistic as possible; unfortunately, not much could be said for the acting. While some actors did their best to breathe life into not-so-creatively written characters, others were as bland as their poorly written characters and scenes.
‘Before Valentine’s’ might have been written to be a romantic comedy, but we got more drama than comedy, and while it’s also supposed to be a Valentine’s movie, it’s not completely as cheesy as you’d expect. Also, don’t get us started on some of the annoyingly very obvious brand advertisements in the movie. It’s a movie you’d rather watch with friends and then discuss some of the thoughts shared in the movie.
Costumes and make-up score high points in this movie; everyone, for the most part, was dressed appropriately and according to character.
‘Before Valentine’s’ is not a movie that would blow your mind, but it is cute and pretty enjoyable- perfect for a girls’ hangout/sleepover. It has many cute aesthetics without much depth, so relax, watch, enjoy and don’t overthink it.