Saturday night, I had the pleasure of attending the Cocoa Fab premiere party for Lifetime’s “With This Ring” ATL style. Not only did I get the chance to indulge in delicious hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beverages, but I also got to meet and talk with the authors of the book, “The Vow”, which the Lifetime movie was based on.
I’ll just come right out and say it: I was pleasantly surprised. Let’s be real, Lifetime doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to airing quality movies, and I was expecting…the worst. However, I am excited to say that the movie was incredibly refreshing.
From the fashion, to the actors, to the production, I was IMPRESSED. Shoutout to Nzingha Stewart, the writer and director. Allow me to give you a rundown.
Regina Hall (my favorite character) played Trista, a cutesy entertainment agent that worked for a well established company, where she often was overworked, undervalued and unhappy. She was also single, and on a mission to find the love of her life before her all her good eggs dried up.
Eve Jeffers Cooper played Amaya, an aspiring actress who was dating a married man, and lived a pretty luxurious lifestyle thanks to the hush money she received from her lover (Deion Sanders). Eve wanted nothing more than to marry her already married boyfriend, and was willing to do anything to prove to him that his wife (played by Gabrielle Union) was cheating on him. (She was)
Then there’s Jilly from Philly. She played Viviane, a hardworking writer and single mother who was still desperately in love with her “baby daddy” Sean, who was played by Jason George.
Brooklyn Sudano played Elise, the anxious bride to be. At her wedding, overwhelmed with feelings of loneliness and discontent, the other three women made a vow to get married within the next year. Viviane and Trista both created online profiles, hoping to find Mr. Perfect, and from that point forward, it was on and poppin!
Needless to say, nothing went as planned. The online dating thing was a bit of a circus. After throwing in the online dating towel, the women had to start from scratch.
Then, out of nowhere, Trista’s douchebag ex-boyfriend ended up proposing to her after things went sour with this lady. Trista had finally made it to the alter, only to realize that she didn’t want to marry the guy. Jill’s baby daddy proposed and they lived happily ever after. And Eve ended up getting back with an old boo she had dissed because he didn’t make enough money to afford the kind of lifestyle she wanted to live. Trista ended up falling for the guy who had been chasing her all along…Nate, played by the oh so fine Stephen Bishop. She had been ignoring the poor guy because she thought he was out of her league, and frankly not interested in Black women.
The most powerful scene of the movie was Trista’s monologue. She stood in the bathroom, in her wedding dress, and told herself everything she needed to hear. That only SHE could make herself happy.
My favorite part of the night was watching the writers of “The Vow”, beautiful Black women celebrate their accomplishments. Angela Burt-Murray (she was awesome) talked about the process of writing the book, and how it took 10 years to get their story on the big screen. They high-fived each other and smiled from ear to ear as their movie became a trending topic on social media. I teared up, emotions high. I knew what it felt like to have your dreams come true right in front of your eyes. To have your hard work finally pay off. The ladies were lovely, gracious, and pleasant to be around. I especially loved Denene Millner’s energy. Mitzi Miller was also a delight. I am so proud of them for telling OUR stories. We were able to see Black women in a different light. All working, all aspiring to be better, intelligent, classy and incredibly HUMAN. Thank you! You have inspired us all.
Here are my top 5 take-aways from “With This Ring.”
1.You are enough. Flaws and all. There is only one of you…act like it.
2.Don’t compare your journey to others. Whether you friend got a new car, a new baby, a new job, or a new man…THAT IS HER JOURNEY! You have to follow your own path and fulfill your own purpose. Everything you want and need will come in due time if you simply stay the course.
3.A man does not equal happiness. Your happiness is a CHOICE. You are responsible for your inner peace; no one else.
4.The love of your life could be right in front of your face – You know that guy that’s “too nice”? The guy that is always telling you how great you look, (even when you don’t), laughs at your corny jokes and knows exactly how you take your coffee? Yea, him. Don’t overlook the guy that you NEED to pursue the guy that you WANT.
5.Value your support systems. We all need them. We couldn’t have made it through our toughest times without them. Friends. Family. Don’t take them for granted. No matter how strong and independent you are, you will always need someone to lean on. Don’t try to take on everything by yourself.
All in all, WONDERFUL movie. Great book. I look forward to hearing more from these ladies!