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Why was ‘Glamour Girls’ remade?

Why was ‘Glamour Girls’ remade?
July 01
12:17 2022

In other words, what was the point of remaking Glamour Girls? This is not a trick question. I’m also not asking with any malicious intentions. I’m genuinely interested in knowing what the big idea behind remaking Glamour Girls was. Was it to expand on the original film? The original film, Glamour Girls (1&2) which was directed by Chika Onukwufor, written, and produced by Kenneth Nnebue, was released in 1994. When the news came that Glamour Girls was going to be remade, I was expectant because I have enjoyed the remakes of some Nollywood classics like Living in bondageRattlesnakeNneka the Pretty Serpent. Well, the wait is over. The new Glamour Girls (directed by Bunmi Adesoye) was released on June 24, 2022, on Netflix and the internet was agog with lamentations from viewers. Some of these viewers went as far as advising people who have yet to see it to not bother to watch the new film.

Obviously, I couldn’t take that advice not because I enjoy punishing myself, but because I needed to see the film to believe. However, before that, I had to first refresh my memory by watching the old Glamour Girls. The story of the old (and new) Glamour Girls is essentially about women selling sex, living off men as mistresses, and trying to sustain a certain glamorous lifestyle. At the beginning of the film, Sandra (Jennifer Okere/Emeka-Ossai) travels to the city to look for a job and stays with Doris (Gloria Anozie) her schoolmate who’s doing well with help from rich men. Sandra soon becomes one of the “senior girls,” Doris introduces her to Chief Esiri (Peter Bunor) who sets her up in plush accommodations, opens a thriving store for her, etc. They don’t live happily ever after because she falls for a younger man Dennis (Pat Attah) who scams her of millions of naira. Another glamour girl Jane (Liz Benson), who had the perfect man, Desmond (Sola Fosudo), willing to accept her past as a sex worker, also doesn’t end well. She too falls for a con man who she ends up shooting and is arrested. The other senior girls Thelma (Ngozi Ikpelue/Ezeonu) and Doris didn’t suffer any misfortunes. There’s also Helen (Barbara Odoh) who combines prostitution with blackmailing her clients. Much of this story is Glamour Girls 1 because Glamour Girls 2 goes off on a different tangent.

Be that as it may, the first Glamour Girls is much simpler and has a much slower pace than the remake. Anyhow the pace of the older Glamour Girls was generally obtained at that time. This pace and certain predictability were one of the things I liked about old Nollywood. I used to joke that one could be doing several chores and still manage to follow those old Nollywood films. The song track would probably explain the whole film before too long.

The reason I dwell on the story of the first Glamour Girls is to show what’s missing in the new Glamour Girls. Also, to write out the old names again. Yes, it has the same story of a group of women selling sex and all that. Donna (Nse Ikpe Etim) is the Madam at the heart of everything. Sharon Ooja’s character Emmanuella/Emma seems the closest to the Sandra (Jennifer Okere) of this new Glamour Girls by way of being an underdog, the new girl who needs cleaning up. But the plot is anything but simple. Still, the film opens with some promise: Jemma (Joselyn Dumas) is the super-call girl who broke the first code by falling for a client. The idea is presented that she’s coming back into the game, then blank. Toke Makinwa’s character Louise is also one of the glamour girls unbeknown to her husband who’s based abroad (she’s the one sponsoring him). The man arrives in Nigeria unannounced; how does she get out of this tight spot? Again, blank. In fact, the next time we see her is 6 months later at her child/children’s birthday party. There had been no mention of her having kids.

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It almost becomes like a game of “I pass here, no way.” You think the story is going in one direction and you prepare to follow…then…poof. There’s a certain pointlessness and some bits that are hard to justify. Like the boat ride with Donna and her girls. I’m nearly having a headache just trying to piece the film together. There are holes so big that the only explanation that makes sense is that parts of the story were accidentally cut out or something.

So, back to my original question: What was the point in remaking Glamour Girls? Since I have no way of knowing for sure, I have to assume that the makers of the new Glamour Girls wanted to improve on the 1994 Glamour Girls. To state the obvious, they didn’t succeed. If you can’t make it better, what’s the point?

It’s quite significant that the women (characters) in the Glamour Girls of 2022, don’t have as much agency as those in the old Glamour Girls. What’s the explanation for none of the women having any meaningful business, except for Donna? If you can call what she runs a business. Liz Benson’s character in Glamour Girls 1 kills the man who scammed her of money and her emotions. Yes, she’s taken away in handcuffs but that was some action. In Glamour Girls 2, Zack Orji’s wife shoots him and his mistress (Eucharia Anunobi). And it was because the man had taken money she’d worked for as a prostitute in Italy and married/got her friend pregnant. Yet in 2022, Donna and co are running scared like headless chickens because of some men, because of something they’re not even guilty of? There’s not one woman in this new Glamour Girls who manages to catch a break: Toke’s character’s children are taken away. There’s the joke of her husband threatening her to keep sending him money. Jemma, despite being painted as someone who dined with heads of state, a super glamour girl, is not that influential.

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For what it’s worth, the only bright spot in this new Glamour Girls is Sharon Ooja’s performance as some of the actors. I could watch her all day.

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