Just Wright – A Tale of Love and Basketball
Queen Latifah is known for portraying strong, independent African American women and she does that again in Sanaa Hamri’s 2010 romantic comedy, Just Wright. Hamri, whose credits include Something New, brings another love story with deep social criticisms.
Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) is a single young woman who men are not physically attracted to. The few male friends she has been on dates with all want to remain as friends and she has come to expect this from men.
Her mother, Janice (played by the ageless Pam Grier) keeps on making remarks about her appearance, especially in public places. Her beautiful gold digger friend, Morgan Alexander (Precious’ Paula Patton) is constantly scheming ways to bag a rich husband and targets ball players.
Avy Kaufman who did the casting could not have picked a better choice than Queen Latifah.
The Queen brings realism to the role which many actresses would not have pulled off. However, that could not have been without the help of the leading man, Common, who plays the knight in shining armor.
One night after going to a basketball game Leslie meets New Jersey Nets star player Scott McKnight (Common, one of the crooked cops from Date Night) at a gas station.
The pair hit off immediately, both having interest in basketball and jazz, and Scott invites her to his birthday party. However, when she brings Morgan to the party Scott is immediately attracted to her (Morgan) who makes uses this to her advantage.
Soon enough, the couple are engaged and about to be married, Scott would have a trophy wife like most of his NBA pals and Morgan would have caught her fish. Unfortunately, things go south when Scott sustains and injury during a game which threatens his career.
The lesson is that beauty is only skin deep and that true beauty lies on the inside. We see this when Morgan abandons an injured Scott who is predicted might not be able to play again.
Patton, who plays Morgan, is absolutely likable and deplorable at the same time. She brings a blend of hot and cold to create a warm feeling that only lasts for a while. Fortunately, the Queen’s character maintains that warmth even after the film has ended.
We are also taught about true love and how it should be as we witness Leslie, a physical therapist, help Scott regain his old game back and find love.
Queen Latifah has proven herself time and time again that she is undoubtedly the ebony queen of romantic comedy and with credits like Bringing Down the House, Beauty Shop and Hairspray, this is a must see.