Lifetime’s ‘Mary J. Blige’s Real Love,’ which is a part of the network’s ‘Voice of a Lifetime’ lineup, is a romantic drama film that centers upon the 18-year-old Kendra, who embarks on a new chapter in her life as she attends an HBCU in North Carolina after earning a lucrative scholarship. Despite being as determined as ever on the academic front, her attention is caught by her photo class partner, Ben, while she tries her best to keep things professional between herself and him.
But when Ben and Kendra can’t help but fall head over heels in love with each other, they don’t let anything come between their feelings, be it their disapproving parents, financial hardships, or unexpected pregnancy. Soon, she realizes that she might have to leave him behind if she wishes to pursue her dreams. Given the true-to-life themes of teen love and familial pressures, most viewers are bound to wonder if ‘Mary J. Blige’s Real Love’ is actually rooted in reality or a work of fiction. Well, are you curious about the same? In that case, allow us to provide you with the answer to that!
Is Mary J. Blige’s Real Love a True Story?
Yes, ‘Mary J. Blige’s Real Love’ is loosely based on a true story. As a matter of fact, the Lifetime movie is inspired by singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige’s classic 1992 eponymous record from the album ‘What’s the 411?,’ which in itself is known to have been written by the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul based on her real-life experiences. After the song’s release, it became her first top-10 hit and peaked at number seven on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In an early March 2022 statement, the Grammy Award-winning performer shared, “I wrote ‘Real Love’ based on my real-life experiences, and my fans connected to it in a deeply personal way. It’s exciting to now use this song and my music to create a new story by way of film, continuing to build on a pillar of the foundation of my production company, Blue Butterfly. My passions for acting and music now include developing diverse stories with music as the backdrop.” Additionally, Blige expressed her gratitude towards Lifetime for taking a chance on and investing in her vision.
We got more insight into the authenticity of the plot of ‘Mary J. Blige’s Real Love’ as Blige sat down to converse with USA Today in June 2023. She was asked about the movie’s backstory inspired by her music. She responded, “It comes from the songs and just discovering that love and finding that love comes from me. I’m able to show people love in relationships and how important it is to the world and to life.”
Although the idea for the plot might have been conceived from Blige’s song, the screenplay was the product of the brilliant and creative minds of the two screenwriters — Rachel Ingram and Sonja Warfield. Both writers combined their respective experiences in the industry and conjured up an intriguing and realistic storyline inclusive of several true-to-life themes. So, it can be said that despite the inspiration from Blige’s eponymous song and the realistic themes in the movie, it is somewhat based on a true story.