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Urbanworld film fest lights up with ‘Mary Jane’

Actress Gabrielle Union attends the 2012 Urbanworld Film Festival Opening night premiere screening of 'Being Mary Jane' in New York City. /Photo: Terrence Jennings

By// S. Tia Brown

NEW YORK — Thursday night I popped in for a special screening of BET’s new show, Being Mary Jane, at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. The project is currently being a dubbed a movie, though it already feels like a series — a good one!

Now, while I’m a fan of the show’s producers, married duo Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, I can be critical. I adored Girlfriends. I’ve enjoyed cheering on The Game. (Sparkle, not so much.) But, Being Mary Jane feels different.

The show deserves a round of applause for really capturing the struggles of our generation of twenty-to-fortysomething women who have all the trappings of success — degrees, homes and bank accounts — sans the highly coveted BMW (Black Man Working). The main character, Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union), is a television anchor who’s not simply hunting for a six-figure brother; she wants true love with a life partner. (Sigh.) What good girl doesn’t?

The good news is Mary Jane has lots of relateable issues: her mother is ill, her brothers are underachievers who both admire and resent her success, her parents are enablers and her boyfriend is married — she didn’t know. Then there’s her job. Obviously, a Porsche and a bad house don’t make being Mary Jane easier… well, maybe a little.

Besides a great script, superb acting and hard-hitting topics, BMJ’s biggest coup is its quality. This is no bootleg BET flick. Everything — from the writers to the locations to the camerawork and editing  — is top notch. BMJ sets a great precedence for excellence at BET.

For more details on BET’s Being Mary Jane, click here. For more info on the Urbanworld Film Festival, click here.

And check out our gallery below for photos from the premiere.

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