Couples struggle with fertility and faith; mature themes.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Wait is a 2023 Nigerian feature based on a book called God's Waiting Room: Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty by Rick Yohn. The movie focuses on the heartbreak of infertility and the advice that infertile couples should turn to faith in God. Couples longing to have children struggle with miscarriage and other setbacks. Emphasis is placed on the power of a support group for women who are "waiting" for something to happen while they place their faith in God. A child dies soon after birth. An angry man tells a gynecologist she's not a suitable professional consultant because she's neither married nor does she have children. Friends and parents cruelly harangue women because they're either unmarried or haven't had children. Language includes "scumbag" and "sperm." Adults drink alcohol.
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What's the Story?
THE WAIT begins as Tosan (Meg Otanwa) gives birth to a girl. Moments later, her doctor, Nara (Nse Ikpe Etim), informs the family that the child didn't survive. After this, Tosan's fifth miscarriage, she falls into a depression, rejecting her loving husband Bayo (Deyemi Okalanwon) and rejecting God despite her former religious zeal. Nara, who is just getting over a divorce from a scam artist, believes in waiting for God to step in and help not only her, but also her patients struggling with infertility. Her support group, The Waiting Room, helps women with sorrow, broken marriages, self-doubt, and the pain of infertility. Another disappointed woman who can't have kids gets angry at her husband for looking at orphanage brochures, also certain that praying will deliver what she wants. In an unrelated subplot, Somto (Chimezie Imo), an architecture graduate, is staying with a taxi driver friend until he can find work. The friend urges him to give dance lessons locally. Ultimately, Somto is hired by one of the infertile women, presumably proving that God has helped them both.
Is It Any Good?
The Wait is a movie with its heart in the right place, but almost everything else about it is in the wrong place. Watching people agonize about infertility without telling us the cause of infertility, the possible treatments for the problem, and, most important, the timetable for possible relief, robs the story of any dramatic tension. Instead, faithfully "waiting" for God to step in is the supposed cure for all ills. The movie requires that the audience also waits for something to happen, for a miracle of action that might inject some life into this ill-conceived, badly-made story. So even though the women are all sympathetic, we just watch and think, why are they just sitting there? Why don't they get a diagnosis, why don't they have treatments, and why aren't they actively trying to get pregnant or otherwise trying to have a child?
The fact that these questions arise but aren't answered until nearly 90 minutes in exemplifies the ineptitude of the director and writer. The script labors to connect to the waiting women a muddy subplot about a desperate jobless university graduate. When he finally gets a job, we are supposed to understand that the act of waiting for God to act paid off for him, too.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how little screen time is spent on the particulars of infertility. Not until the second hour do women discuss what conditions are keeping them and their partners from conceiving, nor are treatments discussed. Why do you think the filmmakers decided against addressing actual causes?
Do you think "waiting" is a good strategy for achieving one's desires? Why or why not?
Many prayers seem answered all at the same time by the film's end. Do you think the waiting helped? Do you think God answered all the prayers? Why or why not?
- On DVD or streaming: January 13, 2023
- Cast: Nse Ikpe Etim, Deyemi Okalanwon, Meg Otanwa
- Directors: Yemi "Filmboy" Morafa, Fiyin Gambo
- Studio: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 121 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Mature dramedy about infertility has lots of sex, cursing.
What We Wanted
Couple deals with infertility; nudity, language, sex.
OK romcom centers on sperm donation, single parenthood.
Then She Found Me
Mature dramedy interesting, but meanders too much.
Moving, mature drama about loss is too heavy for kids.
For kids who love international movies
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