From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Just Wright - C

Rated PG for some suggestive material and brief language, 100 minutes

Dull basketball-themed rom com "Just Wright" is all wrong

Well, not everything about the new Queen Latifah comedy "Just Wright" is wrong. A tired, predictable and formula story and a lazy Latifah performance highlight the enjoyable, crowd-pleasing rom com with the NBA team New Jersey Nets as the backdrop. In spite of a few engaging moments, it's about as believable as the Nets winning the championship.

Latifah is physical therapist Leslie Wright who by chance meets Nets player Scott McKnight (Common) at the gas station. He invites her to his birthday party, and she brings along her hot childhood friend Morgan (Paula Patton), who has aspirations to be an athlete's trophy wife. Scott and Morgan fall in love and get engaged. Scott gets hurt during the All-Star game, threatening his career. Morgan dumps him but Leslie helps rehabilatate Scott back to health and a decent career and the two fall in love, until Morgan shows up again to try to win him back.

"Just Wright" is a stale, by-the-numbers, ho-hum Latifah movie that attempts to score but comes up way short of being anything memorable. You know from the minute that the handsome Common and the funny Latifah meet how this story will go. And if you buy a minute this overly sentimental, highly improbable romance, then as George Strait would say, I have some ocean-front property to sell you. Unfortunately, Latifah herself seems misdirected, in one of the outspoken's actresses blandest roles yet.

At least the movie makes good use of a few pro basketball players, including Dwayne Wade and Dwight Howard, who appear as themselves (and those unfamiliar with basketball - which may be most of the women who see this - won't know them from Bugs Bunny). It's also nice seeing "Cosby Show" mom Phylicia Rashad as Common's mom, and especially fun seeing Pam Grier (yes, that '70s black icon Pam Grier, who still looks awesome) as Latifah's mom, both of whom give the film some much needed spunk.

Just as you'd expect, people fall in love, break up and get back together again in "Just Wright," just in time for the big game. Want to know who wins in the end? I won't give it away but you probably know just by seeing the ads and the trailer for the film. As the old sports saying goes, you can't win them all, and while this isn't a winning film, I always enjoy seeing the tremendously likable, affable Latifah, even if "Just Wright" lacks some skills.