More times than I want to count, the movie industry has set me up for a fall. The trailers for the movies are action-packed, funny, intriguing, scary or make you want to love somebody. Then, BAM! You put down your paycheck to go see this movie that will change your life forever only to discover that the trailer was the greatest part of the movie. But, in the case of Queen Latifah’s “Just Wright”, where she co-stars with rapper extraordinaire, Common, not one wolf ticket was sold. THEY DELIVERED!
No matter what anyone tells you, it is not a grown-up version of Love & Basketball. They are both movies that have provided such depth and class to the image of black family, they have earned their right to stand alone and not be compared. The only similarity, really, is that it’s a love story wrapped around the game of basketball. This one doesn’t beat around the bush either…it gets to it! The movie gets moving quickly, but at the same time includes enough details to make you feel like you’re walking through the relationships in the movie with care and honesty.
Common and the Queen show a true friendship in the movie. Their chemistry comes across strikingly honest and pure. They work together well to deliver the goods on screen. This is Common’s first role as a leading man, so he was a novice to the portrayal, yet he lets the audience walk the baby steps with him and his character builds and grows as he goes along with no disappointments. And let’s not forget the “ripped” physique he puts on for the film to give the ladies a little extra somethin’ somethin’ to enjoy.
One of the unquestionable imprints of Queen Latifah on this movie is that she gives the big girls out there a sense of pride in themselves that is both unapologetic and strong, but sensitive and real. She pats the big girls on the back and gives them a job well done in this one. While you’ve seen the trailers show her saying, “You better be packin’ somethin’ in that wallet cause I’m not one of those salad eatin’ chicks!” She makes being big an inevitable truth that is not ugly or unappealing. She is simply real.
The supporting cast, Pam Grier, who plays Queen Latifah’s mom and Phylicia Rashad, who plays Common’s mother, may not put in a lot of screen time, but they offer an anchor or a stamp of approval that adds a level of respect to the movie. The other cast members, like James Pickens Jr., who plays Queen Latifah’s dad and the NBA players all give great performances that are real and warm. And best of all, no woman is disrespected in the making of this film. Although Paula Patton, who plays her role extremely well, brings you to that point as the IT girl. She deserves a round of applause.
Thank you for this movie Queen. Your effort did not go in vain. Please support this film if you’re interested in seeing black movies with style, class, and most of all loooooooooooove.