Film: ‘Donna: Stronger Than Pretty’

You can tell the title character of “Donna: Stronger Than Pretty” is making the wrong choice when she first lays eyes on Nick at the bar, fresh out of a restroom where he had obviously done cocaine.

She falls for every corny line he gives her, embraces his ambition for opening a high end flooring business in Long Island, and is willing to put aside her own dreams of attending college and becoming a teacher, so she could be a housewife and mother for the next few decades, even though — surprise! — he ended up going back to bars, doing cocaine (and even selling it) and picking up other women who fell for his lines.

And Nick also batted Donna around a bit, though it’s unclear how much in the muddled “Donna,” a substandard version of the kind of imperiled woman film the Lifetime network airs just about every weekend.

But this is the personal story of director and co-writer Jaret Martino’s own mother who raised three kids after finally divorcing after 30 years of marriage — and now gets her own co-writing credit. She even appears at the end of the film to say “Hi, my name is Donna. The film that you just watched was based on true events that happened in my life. I hope you walk away feeling empowered,” 

She is pictured looking over old family albums with Kate Amundsen, the actress who portrays Donna in the film and talks more about her experience, in an excerpt from a documentary of the same name that preceded this theatrical effort. 

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