Usually, immediately after I discover that a movie or TV series is based on a book, I drop the movie, read the book, and then return to the movie. However, I didn’t do that here for two reasons:
1. I’m not so much a fan of African (especially Nigerian) literature, much less Nigerian romance literature.
2. Nigerian movies? Yeah, not my speed.
Yes, I know, very unpatriotic of me or whatever, I want to say I’m trying to be better, but I’m not yet really trying.
But I liked the title, Smart Money Woman (ohhhhhh), and it was only seven episodes long, so I took the blind jump… and I didn’t regret it. Huh.
So follow me. Let’s dive right in.
The story follows Zuri, a young woman who makes a decent living yet finds herself in financial hot water when her rich boyfriend betrays her and gets engaged to another woman while they are on a break. She returns from a vacation to meet heartbreak, but that is not even half of her problems. She needs to pay the service charge on her apartment, and her car is broken down. With her salary, she should have no problems taking care of these things, especially since she is single and not directly responsible for her parents.
But her extravagant lifestyle sucks up all her money.
Meet her friends: Tami – a trust fund baby who runs to daddy (or current rich boyfriend) anytime her startup fashion design company takes a hit; Lara – a high earning woman, who is a provider for her family and extended family; Ladun, who seems to have everything she ever wanted; and Adesuwa, a fast-rising, high-end lawyer who is the breadwinner for her family, but is shackled with an idiot of a husband, and a witch for a mother-in-law (yes, I said it. Sue me). During the course of the story, all of them run into one financial challenge or the other and have to find a way to either sink or swim.
I’ve got to say, it’s been a long time (if ever) since I learned anything from a Nigerian movie, so imagine my shock when I found myself wanting to take life notes after the first episode!
Now, let’s get to everything I loved and hated about this series.
1. The chemistry between the leading ladies was so easy and genuine that you could feel it. It’s either they are all really good friends in real life, or they are even better actresses than we know (I’m betting on the former). Loved it
2. Those little financial nugget notes that kept popping up. They are true to life and very helpful tidbits. I jotted down so many of them! Definitely loved it!
3. They weren’t subtle in the slightest about the life lessons, sigh. I felt like a 5-year-old watching Dora the Explorer (can you see the backpack? Say backpack!). Yeah, okay, I can admit that we (Nigerians) turn a blind eye to these financial truths, so perhaps the sledgehammer approach is what we need (we no dey quick hear word 😭)
4. The stories all felt like set pieces to get to the next financial tidbit. You know, like those little stories they tell in motivational books, so you’re not bored out of your mind. It became tiresome.
5. The product placements. They were many, and again, not subtle! I know that’s how you get the money to make the movie, but come on.
5. Also, what happened with the Tami-Andrew-Bobby triangle? Y’all just led me around by the nose and then bailed! Not fair.
Here’s my advice. Watch the Smart Money Woman, and prepare to learn much-needed truths about life and your finances (Take little notes, trust me, they’ll help). Second, read the book by Arese Ugwu (I’m going to take my advice too)