Fox Searchlight presents Just Wright, another romantic-comedy, only this time adding a little something for all of you sports fans. Directed by Sanaa Hamri and starring Queen Latifah and Common, the film isn’t exactly what critics would write home about, but it should definitely pull some decent numbers in the box office.
Lets take a look…
- Director: Sanaa Hamri
- Writer: Michael Elliot
- Producers: Chase, Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere
- Cast: Common, Queen Latifah, Paula Patton Phylicia Rasha
Leslie Wright (Latifah), a 35 year-old, single physical therapist and avid New Jersey Nets fan is never the bride – always the friend. She bumps into Nets star Scott McKnight (Common) at a gas station, and after wooing him with her sports knowledge and mechanical wisdom, Leslie and her attractive, gold-digger of a best friend Morgan score an invite to his birthday party. After Scottie obviously falls for Morgan, he suffers a knee injury just before the playoffs. Leslie is hired as his full-time rehabilitative therapist. I’ll bet you can guess what happens next.
- Sports Movie: This is no Remember The Titans, people – but who doesn’t feel pumped up after a solid sports movie? My audience sure did. Every fifteen minutes I had to remind myself that, no, I was NOT in a high school gymnasium despite all the teenagers screaming at a movie screen.
- The Underdog Gets The Guy: Scottie initially falls for Morgan, who is a total babe, but has the IQ of a plant. She and Scottie share zero interests, and her courting him was clearly an attempt to score the financial benefits of dating a pro athlete. Leslie, the obvious fit for Scottie, is the tomboy and sports fan, but the “chubbier” girl is usually an unlikely choice for a billion dollar franchise ball player. Predictably, we see their business relationship evolve into something deeper. Surprisingly, you are rooting for this relationship – and not solely because it’s suggested in the writing.
- Acting: Common knows music, without a doubt. Acting, however, is a little out of his league. Given that this is a romantic comedy, less than stellar performances are both welcomed and excused. Just make us “awww” because we’re anticipating the cheesiness – but Common in no way can carry a film. Latifah, on the other hand, who has a lengthy resume of less than impressive acting experience, was sufficiently over the top for the bulk of the film.
- The Writing: Again, it’s a romantic-comedy-sports film… no one should go into this movie with high expectations. But the writing is, in short, atrocious. Elliot tries very hard to “establish” his characters as quickly as possible. By doing so, Scottie along with three other characters announce his “gentlemen” like qualities about 30 times, and Leslie reminds us that she’s “looking for that special man” about every other scene. We get it. Just tell the story.
This film has potential to do well in the box-office simply because it’s a sports movie with a love story. Again, if you’re looking for a critically acclaimed piece of work – run. But if you’re looking for some mindless, light-hearted fun and laughable acting – see Just Wright.
Just Wright is in theaters May 14th!