How do you make a movie that feels totally fresh despite the fact that it follows a fairly-transparent blueprint for a romantic comedy formula? Ask director Sanaa Hamri, who’s done it again with Just Wright, a syrupy-sweet love story guaranteed to leave you in tears, even though there’s never a doubt about how it will all end.
The picture stars Queen Latifah as Leslie Wright, a physical therapist and lifelong New Jersey Nets fan. The 35 year-old tomboy goes to see the team play regularly, always wearing jeans and a Nets jersey. The unflattering look simply doesn’t sit well with her mother (Pam Grier) who’s concerned about whether her daughter will ever get married.
Meanwhile, the same can’t be said about Leslie’s gorgeous god-sister, Morgan (Paula Patton). This shameless gold-digger could care less about the NBA, yet spends countless hours primping herself in front of the mirror in order to attract a wealthy all-star from the stands. .
The most-desirable eligible bachelor on the Nets squad is point guard Scott McNight (Common) a two-time league MVP and a perfect gentleman to boot. Leslie and Scott’s paths cross the night of the season opener, not at the stadium, but purely by chance after the game when they both stop to fill their tanks at the same gas station. Sparks fly, and he invites her to his upcoming birthday party.
However, against her better judgment, she extends the invitation to Morgan who ends turning his head at the soiree, and it’s not long before she has a gaudy engagement ring on her finger. The plot triangulates when Scott suffers a career-threatening knee injury on the court and needs months of rehabilitation. Re-enter Leslie, the only female therapist possessive Morgan is willing to trust not to try to sabotage her impending wedding which she sees as a big payday.
Will Scott wise-up during and realize which of the two women is capable of really loving him for himself, or will he marry a shallow witch who’s only interested in his bank account? A sentimental soap opera well-enough executed to push all the right emotional buttons!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG for mild epithets and suggestive material.
Running time: 100 Minutes
Distributor: Fox Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Gag reel, theatrical trailer, “The Making of” documentary, and a featurette.
To see a trailer for Just Wright, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uLnKOcqE8M&feature=related
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