Review: Nzingha Stewart Guides Lifetime's 'With This Ring' (Premieres Saturday, January 24th)
For several years now, Black women have had to contend with the media fueled stereotype of being perpetually single and unwed. (Apparently new statistics show that 50% of Black women will never get married.) Lifetime’s "With This Ring" tells the story of a group of girlfriends who make a pack to defy this label, and vow to get married (or engaged) in one year’s time. Not unlike David E. Talbert’s "Baggage Claim" (2013), "With This Ring" centers around three thirty-plus girlfriends who want their happily-ever-after at any cost. However, they soon discover that what they thought they wanted may not actually be worth having after all.
Trista (Regina Hall) is an up-and-coming talent agent who cannot seem to get past the ex-boyfriend who never truly committed to her. Upon discovering that she’s wasted yet another night entertaining his foolishness, Trista sets out on an unwavering quest to get a ring on her finger. Trista’s best friend Vivian (Jill Scott) is still in love with the father of her child. She pines after him, unable to move forward in her love life because of her feelings for him. Instead of telling him how she feels, Viv chooses to live in fantasyland and continues playing house with a man who sees her solely as the mother of his child. Amaya (Eve) is a struggling actress who is frantically trying to convince her married boyfriend to leave his wife for her. Convinced that her boyfriend’s wife is having her own affair, Amaya spends hours trying to catch her in the act. After attending their friend Elise’s (Brooklyn Sandou) New Year’s Eve wedding, the trio decides that they’ve had enough, and they take their romantic lives in their own hands. Unsurprisingly, their plans do not go accordingly.
Admittedly, a great deal of the film is comprised of Lifetime's trademark cheesy clichés (poor choices made by these women, the usual rom-com high jinks, etc), which you're either already with (especially if you're a regular Lifetime viewer), or are not. There are dream sequences, for example, that simply don't work, and the movie would've been better off without.
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