In the city of Lagos, Warri-based Nigerians, Akpors (Ayo Makun), an impulsive but funny young man and his more reserved, learned cousin, Richard (Ramsey Nouah), an I.T. consultant are invited to a luxurious real estate showcase party sponsored by a businessman and realtor, Dr. Johnson Adetola Briggs (Majid Michel) with his wife (Juliet Ibrahim) in new Lekki Gardens Estate, Lagos. Akpors unexpectedly wins a 30-day prize trip to Atlanta, U. S. A. for a couple in the raffle draw. Akpors decides to go with his cousin on the trip.
On arriving Atlanta Airport, they recognize a Nigerian politician and exchange greetings. While going for a walk from their temporary residence, Akpors experiences his first culture shock, an American kid persistently declines her mother's instruction without being punished for it. They compare the scenario with counterparts back home and Akpors confronts the kid in the presence of her mother who reprimands him afterwards.
He experiences a few more peculiarities about the American culture. They go to an outdoor musical dance talent hunt. After watching a series of performers, Akpors decides to take up a challenge and display his peculiar dancing style with the music of his choice to the audience' amusement. They later obtain a white convertible from a car agency and Richards convinces Akpors about the agency's mode of operations in the country. On driving to a restaurant with petrol station, they bump into a friend, Okiemute (Desmond Elliot) they knew back home. In the midst of their excited greetings, Okiemute tries to caution them to change their familiar style of greeting since his name has changed. Okiemute invites them both to eat at the restaurant while Akpors also experiences another culture shock when he sees a lady footing the bill on a couple's date. Akpors is also amazed to hear some disaffected customers complaining about the restaurant's service in Nigerian pidgin. They discuss foreign baby droppers who come to give birth in the US. On sighting a beautiful lady, Kimberly (Karlie Redd), Akpors reveals his intention to date her but Okiemute cautions him about her strict father.
They drive to the beautiful residence of a Nigerian friend in diaspora, Uncle Wilson (Kesse Jabiri). They are welcomed by Wilson's wife, (Vivica A. Fox) who instantly recognizes their accent. They adore the residence's interior design before being welcomed by Wilson. They experience yet another culture shock when they see Wilson performing traditional African female roles (food preparation, babysitting, housekeeping etc.) while his wife gives him instructions. Akpors, eager to displays his feelings tries to confront Wilson but is restrained by Richard. After narrating their love story, Akpors has the biased opinion that Wilson is under a spell from his wife. Akpors tries to convince Wilson that his wife's "domination" is abnormal. Akpors finally decides to leave the house, almost revealing his annoyance to Wilson's wife but for Richard's timely intervention.
They attend a Sustainable earth conference in which the same minister they met is also attending. Akpors makes a weird but humorous comment to everyone's surprise. At the lunch, they sight Kimberly and Akpors urges Richard into starting a conversation. It turns out well despite Akpors' blunders and Richard's interference. She gives Richard a contact and they leave just in time for her father, Odiye (Richard Mofe Damijo), a U.S. based Nigerian who owns the restaurant, to show up. Akpors sometimes disturbs Richard and affects his concentration in their residence.
Richard decides to visit the restaurant again to await Kimberly but Akpors shows up unexpectedly. He persuades Richard that he will be supportive of his date. After ordering food, he takes the initiative by signaling to Kimberly when she arrives. Unaware that they were visitors and not residents, Kimberly mentions Akpors' comment at the conference and her father's interest to meet him and possibly engage him in an stand-up comedy contract. Richard tries to discourage the proceedings but Akpors maintains an interest and requests further information on the remuneratory aspect of the proposed contract, despite knowing it was a violation of his visa to work during their visit. After the contract is awarded and Akpors commences work at the restaurant, he narrates it to Richard who cautions him that it was illegal to work and might be arrested if discovered. Undaunted by the risks, he refuses to quit the job.
While leaving for their residence in a taxi, it dawns on Richard that he has left his wallet with cash behind. As a result of their situation, Akpors recommends that they flee on dropping from the taxi. Unknown to them, the driver understood their conversation and threatens them with a gun before dropping them half-naked on the streets in annoyance. Kimberly and her father comes to their aid and drives them home. They are treated with good hospitality while Odiye narrates his family story, citing his late American wife, Joyce (Kimberly's mother), ordeal and journey from Nigeria to the United States, advising them not to be discouraged by setbacks in life. Kimberly prepares dinner and invites them all to the table. They meet for the first time and are introduced to Odiye's immigration lawyer, Clara (Lynn Whitfield). They converse and Akpors makes additional blunders but succeeds in making them laugh. Clara, impressed by Akpors' sense of humour decides to see him perform at the restaurant.
While leaving for their residence, Akpors reveals his interest in dating Clara to Kimberly. Kimberly reveals that Clara is much older than she looks, but Akpors doesn't give up on starting a date with her. Richards tries to make romantic advances but Kimberly reminds him that they are still under her father's watchful eye. Richard and Akpors drives home in the car. Later, Akpors proceeds to date Clara and succeeds in winning her affection. He teaches her some Nigerian pidgin and slangs. Richard also gets along well with Kimberly on a date but unlike Akpors, he reveals their visitor status in the United States.
On another day, Richard converses with his mother and uncle James via Skype and is surprised to learn that his former girlfriend, Ese is assisting his mother at home, at work and making future wedding arrangements. He tries to convince his mother that they have ended their relationship and mentions his new found love, describing Kimberly. When Akpors accompanies Richard to collect a portraiture gift for Kimberly and waits outside, Akpors disappears before he comes out, having strolled into a gang of street gamblers. As soon as Richards notices his sudden disappearance, he searches for him. Akpors has already engaged himself in a gambling session by the time Richards finds him. On discovery, Richard cautions him that the gang of gamblers might be prone to committing crime. Akpors convinces him to go and meet Kimberly at home and leave him with his gambling as everything will be fine. Richard reluctantly leaves. Kimberly notifies Richard on phone about their dating arrangements and her intentions to Skype with his mother when she gets home. Richard gives her an incentive to proceed as planned. Kimberly enters the house and awaits Richard. Meanwhile, Akpors gambling spree has gone sour and after deciding to leave with his winning, he is threatened with a gun by one of the gamblers. Other members of gang try to restrain the attacker while Akpors displays his aggressive behaviour and breaks a bottle on his head, threatening and chasing his attacker as a defensive measure. The attacker and his gang flees to avoid the dangerous scene when the cops' siren signals are heard nearby.
At Richard's residence, Kimberly decides to pick the Skype video call. On sighting Richard's mum, she introduces herself. Richard's mum, not familiar with the American way of greeting, considers Kimberly rude. Ese, who happened to be nearby immediately describes herself in the mum's presence that she is Richard's wife. Richard's mum leaves the conversation to attend to her cooking and tells Ese not to tamper with the laptop. Ese agrees but continues the Skype video conversation and tries to convince Kimberly that she will be used and dumped by Richard. She proceeds by showing her proof of their "marriage" with intimate pictures of her with Richard. Kimberly becomes heartbroken and drives away from the house in tears. She refuses to pick Richard's calls and hints him of her discovery of his secret past.
After fleeing the gambling scene, Akpors is arrested by the cops before he reaches home. He manages to notify Richard on phone requesting Clara's intervention on the case. Richard reprimands him for his actions and agrees to involve Clara. Akpors leaves the phone hanging and barely ends his coversation in an attempt to flee erotic advances from a prison inmate. Clara approaches Akpors in the cell and tries to clarify the situation, discussing with the legal officials as a representative lawyer. In the middle of Akpors conversation with the officials, it is discovered that Akpors also violated his visa, making his case more severe and punishable by law. He is finally granted bail and scheduled for a court hearing.
In court, he persists in defending his actions and commits more blunders in the process. He is cautioned to keep silent by Richard or risk going to Jail. Clara also reiterated that he keep silent while she spoke. To avoid prosecution, the presiding Judge agreed that the total income Akpors has earned will be sufficient as compensation for his legal and visa violation if the money is donated to charity under supervision. In order to avert further violation pending his stay in the United States, Clara decides to keep him under her watchful eye and takes him to her house to cook him dinner. Akpors expresses his appreciation for her timely intervention and falls in love with her. He requests for her bedroom and carries her inside.
Afterwards, Clara overhears Akpors conversing on phone implying that his relationship with Clara will facilitate his green card and American citizenship. Clara becomes furious that Akpors might have taken advantage of her influential position and after reminiscing about the recent past, she ejects Akpors immediately from her house and threatens to call the police if he refuses to leave. Akpors leaves.
Richard, on the other hand has been disturbed since Kimberly stopped communicating. He attempts to clarify the situation and explain to Kimberly but her father, Odiye intervenes and orders him to leave his daughter alone, reiterating the stereotyped bad image many young Nigerian men portray to the Western world. Odiye comforts his daughter when Richard leaves. Richard in an attempt to converse with his mother on Skype, sees Ese and talks to her angrily about her interference in his relationship with Kimberly. He also learns about Akpor's eviction from Clara's house. Akpors reluctantly donates his earnings to charity. As their departure date to Nigeria draws nearer, they make additional tours in the country and take photographs. At the airport, as the men prepare to board their flight back to Nigeria, they are surprised to see Kimberly and Clara who after further clarifications had both made up their minds to follow them back to Nigeria to meet their relatives.Ayo Makun as Akpors
Ramsey Nouah as Richard
Richard Mofe Damijo as Odiye
Desmond Elliot as Okiemute
Kesse Jabari as Wilson
Vivica A. Fox as Wilson's wife
Lynn Whitfield as Odiye's immigration lawyer, Clara
Karlie Redd as Kimberly
Majid Michel as Adetola Briggs
Racheal Oniga as Richard's mum
Mercy Johnson as Esse
Ada Ameh as Akpors Mum
Juliet Ibrahim as Adetola's wife
The film was well received by the general audience, but was met with mixed to negative critical reviews. Most critics note that the comedy in the film is filled with cliches and stereotypes, and that the film seems like a remake of Osuofia in London (2003), the Jenifa franchise, or a hybrid of both.
Nollywood Reinvented gave a 24% rating, commenting: "For the length of the approximately 2hr long movie, there was a competent joke in every part for at least the first hour and a half. But that’s about where the greatness of the movie begins and ends. There is hardly any originality or attempt to make it less predictable". The Daily Independent comments that the comedy in the film is filled with clichés and stereotypes, but a proper story eventually emerge. It concludes that "he [Ayo Makun] has sent a strong message with this effort that a good quality comedy film can be made". Wilfred Okiche of YNaija cited that the film has "filmmaking errors and production glitches", but admits to the film being funny. He says Ayo Makun isn't "a rounded actor", calls the film an hybrid of Osuofia in London (2003) and The Return of Jenifa (2011), and concludes: "...there is no single, continuous plot but a series of sketches and happenstances cobbled together to make up a movie. The pacing moves breezingly [sic] enough to obscure the lack of a substantial story but it does little to hide the deficiency with continuity as the scenes just clash noisily into the other. The jokes are gold - though failing unsurprisingly only when AY attempts stand up. 30 Days in Atlanta is funny, but poorly made".
Today's Woman magazine gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, commenting: "The beginning scenes were cliche, predictable and reminded me a little too much of Osuofia in London. However, once we passed this phase, the movie was in actual fact hilarious. Babatunde Lasaki on 360Nobs gave 6 out of 10 stars and comments: "A usual story retold in an unusually funny manner. Definitely not a contender for innovation or ingenuity, but I will say a comic relief from the many bland productions of 2014. 30 Days in Atlanta is a fine movie, not a MUST see, but definitely worth two hours of comedic fun. Obehi Bassey of True Nollywood Stories states that Ayo Makun's acting skills is non-existent, says the film is needlessly dragged, but concludes: "30 days in Atlanta remains a movie worth seeing. Entertaining from the get go, it doesn’t let go. It’s a comedy that is funny without being annoying and melodramatic. Plus it has some really memorable scenes. Kemi Filani comments: "if you are having a bad day and you need something to get you up and alive, 30 days in Atlanta is the movie for ya.... [sic]kudos to comedian AY".
30 days in Atlanta went on to break all box-office records for 2014.
The movie received 10 nominations at the 2014 Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards.