Queen Latifah as Leslie Wright
Common as Scott McKnight
Paula Patton as Morgan Alexander
James Pickens, Jr. as Lloyd Wright
Phylicia Rashad as Ella McKnight
Pam Grier as Janice Wright
Laz Alonso as Mark Matthews
Michael Landes as Nelson Kaspian
Directed by Sanaa Hamri
The One You Can’t Live Without
Common On The Fast Break
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
French and Spanish Languages
Running Time: 101 Minutes
The following is the official description of the film:
“Queen Latifah and Common deliver slam-dunk entertainment in this charming story of hoops, hope, and the game of love. Leslie Wright (Latifah) is a straight-shooting physical therapist who gets the gig of a lifetime working with injured NBA star Scott McKnight (Common). Leslie not only whips Scott into shape, she helps take his game to the next level and all is going well… until Leslie finds herself falling for him. Oblivious to her growing affection, Scott only has eyes for Morgan (Paula Patton), Leslie’s sexy and seductive friend. With everything on the line, Leslie must take her best shot and find out if she and Scott are just right for each other.”
“Just Wright” is rated PG for some suggestive material and brief language.
“Just Wright” was made for a certain target audience – middle aged women who like romance novels. Considering I in no way fit this demographic, it’s no wonder I wasn’t fond of “Just Wright.” It’s kind of a modern day fairy tale. Instead of winning the love of a prince of a land far, far away, we see her win the heart of an NBA player. I give them credit for trying to throw something to the men suckered into watching this movie. The NBA aspect is something they can appreciate, but ultimately it’s not enough. This is a chick flick all the way.
Oddly enough, the ending of this movie is ruined by the cover. The whole film builds up the question of whether or not Leslie will find true love. If you’re not blind, then you can see the cover and get that answer. So there’s zero suspense in the plot. They do throw in a few interesting conflicts along the way, but they’re either dismissed or never live up to their full potential. I kept expecting Morgan and Leslie to have a major conflict over Scott, but it never happened. Leslie seemed to never want to confront Morgan. They also built up a potential conflict between Leslie and her mother over favoring Morgan, but that never materialized either. They also hinted that Phylicia Rashad as Ella McKnight was going to have a conflict with either Morgan or Leslie, but that didn’t happen either. Time and again the story took the safe and predictable route. It ended up making a bland and predictable film.
Queen Latifah is good as Leslie Wright. She’s lighthearted, good-natured, friendly, and positive. She’s a likable character. She just needs a better script to work with. I wasn’t impressed with Common in “Terminator Salvation,” but I thought he was better here. Still, that’s not saying much. He’s kind of a bland character that allows himself to be pushed over by practically every woman in his life. There’s also one unintentionally funny scene where he and another character end every sentence in “man.” They say it around a dozen times in less than 20 seconds. Paula Patton is beautiful as Morgan Alexander and she’s placed in the unenviable position of being the ‘villain,’ of sorts. Yet in this bland script she still emerges unscathed. Phylicia Rashad and Pam Grier are also fun to see, but they have very small roles.
It’s not a great movie, but “Just Wright” should satisfy most people that fall in the demographic mentioned above. And if you’re a major Queen Latifah fan, you’ll enjoy it as well.
On the DVD you’ll find a gag reel, a ‘making of’ featurette, and a featurette on Common and the basketball scenes.