Strength of a Woman (2023 Lifetime)


Strength of a Woman (2023 Lifetime)

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Cast: Ajiona Alexus, Da’Vinchi

Director: Shari L. Carpenter

Writer: Rachel Ingram

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

The story of Kendra and Ben continues in Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman, jumping ahead more than 15 years. Now a successful photographer, Kendra finds herself in a failing marriage and must reckon with the decisions she made for the life she thought she wanted. When Ben unexpectedly comes back into her life, she is forced to a crisis point and must dig deep to find the strength to take control of her life and accept the love Ben may be offering again.

Recap/Wine Thoughts. 

Kendra is back years later, 2007, to be exact, and living in Chicago. She is a professional photographer and a new man who is a neurologist. Kendra’s friend Terri, from college, works for the company too and fills in as a date when her Dr. Boyfriend can’t make it again. (He doesn’t make Kendra a priority.)

Dr. Kevin continues to give Kendra the brush off and doesn’t want to have sex with Kendra because he is “too tired.” The next day he apologizes with flowers, but Kendra’s biological clock is ticking, and she is ready to start a family. 

Kendra is named the biggest photographer in Chicago and receives an award; then, she is invited to a college reunion and runs into her old flame, Ben. He is co-parenting with Connie and working to become a public defender. Kendra tells Ben that her dad isn’t doing well. When Ben tells Kendra that he misses her, the conversation goes south.

Kendra gets a call from her sister Sasha that their father passed away. Kevin leaves the funeral EARLY to go back to work and leaves Kendra to grieve alone. (Well, Ben is still there…) Ben and Kendra rehash the past, and he tells her that he always chose her and loved her, even though he got Connie pregnant. He clarifies that he is legally separated from Connie.

Kendra comes home and finds Kevin cheating on her with a co-worker. Kendra slaps his face and drives away angrily. Kendra has difficulty respecting herself and gives Kevin a chance to explain himself. He convinces her to give him a second chance. 

The photography business is doing very well. Her niece, Sunny, comes to visit and is interested in photography. Kevin goes above and beyond to welcome Sunny, and he tries to prove he is worth Kendra’s forgiveness. 

Kendra and Ben run into one another at a record store. She also gets a cover of a magazine for the September issue. The good news keeps coming, and Kendra finds out she is pregnant. Kevin is happy about the news and take her out to celebrate. 

Ben’s son starts hanging out with Kendra’s neice, giving the former lovers the opportunity to hang out. Kevin start to get jealous of Ben and invites Ben over for dinner.

The dinner is tense, and Kevin drinks too much wine. He tells everyone that Kendra is pregnant. Kevin is also rude AF to Ben about his divorce and having a kid in college. Then, Kevin accuses Kendra of sleeping with Ben and questions if the baby is even his. It is so WILD! Like, that is wrong with him?!

Kevin shouldn’t be making crazy accusations because he gives his sister $3300 without checking in with Kendra first. When Kendra confronts him, he gaslights her into thinking SHE is picking a fight. When Kendra looks into the charge, she learns that the money was sent to Terry. Terry and Kevin had a flight years ago, resulting in a kid. Kendra never knew and is devastated by the deceit. She cusses out Terry and then lights Kevi’s car on fire. Kendra throws his things into trash bags and kicks him out of the house. As she screams at Kevin, Kendra trips and falls down the stairs and loses the baby. 

Kendra tells Kevin that love is not enough and breaks it off with him. Sunny goes back home, leaving Kendra alone at her most vulnerable. Kendra chugs red wine bottles and wakes up a drunken mess on the floor. Her co-worker Liberty checks on her and tells her she misses the September issue photo shoot. Kendra screams at her and continues to drink for weeks in a deep depression. Her sister Sasha comes to town to help her pick up the pieces. 

Kendra moves home with her sister and niece, and they sing in the kitchen to Mary J’s “Strength of a Woman.” It is nice to see her back on her feet after such a rough time.

Ben comes to town to check on Kendra, and Sasha invites him in for pizza. He just wants she needs, and Ben’s thoughtfulness is appreciated. Ben invites Kendra to a family BBQ, and she is hesitant since they thought she was low rent back in the day, but he convinces her to come.

The BBQ goes surprisingly well! Until Ben asks why Kendra broke up with Kevin. She tells him what happened and tells him that she learned it’s okay to change your mind and not always be strong. Ben kisses her and accepts her for where she is. 

Then they have sex cause, WHY NOT! Ben tells Kendra that he prayed for her and wants to start a family. Kendra is worried that she is going to get hurt again and doesn’t think she deserves happiness.  

In Chicago, Ben and Kendra spend more time together in and out of bed. He shows her he cares for her with acts of kindness. Ben suddenly has to move back to North Carolina to share custody with Connie. They decided to do long distance. 

Kendra runs into Terry, picking up takeout, and takes the high road. Kendra tells Terry that she forgives her. (Which I would NEVER do! TBH!)

Ben and Kendra make it work, and even though things change, Kendra learns to live in the moment and trust Ben at face value. They move back to North Carolina together and visit the college campus where it all started to build a life together.

Side Note/Stray Thoughts

It seems like these two movies were a success for Lifetime. I would imagine that Mary J Blige will be producing more movies for the network moving forward. 

Minority Report: The movie features Black actors and artists behind the scenes 

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Overall rating 

Number of Kills: 

N/A (Not that kind of lifetime Movie.)

Enjoyment Level (1-5 scale) 

🍷🍷 🍷 🍷 🍷 (5 Glasses of Wine)

Should you watch it?

Pour it up! (Give it a shot)

Put a Cork in It (Skip It)

What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments or on social media @LifetimeUncorked & @patrickmiguel

*Photo Credit: © 2023 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

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