Just Wright (2010)

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IMDb Rating
5.9 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

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(Based on 0 Ratings)
MPAA Rating:
PG for some suggestive material and brief language.
Comedy, Romance
Sanaa Hamri
Michael Elliot (written by)

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on May 12th, 2010

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Just Wright is a film about the triumph of true inner beauty over dirty hoebag outer beauty. Queen Latifah stars as the titular Leslie Wright, a decent, kindhearted, basketball-loving physical therapist who just can't find a guy who wants to be more than her friend.

Then, miraculously, she meets the most down-to-earth professional basketball player in the world, Scott McKnight (Common) - at a gas station! A gas station! He's so down-to-earth he just can't quite seem to open the gas tank on his new-fangled car. They get to talking, she reveals she's obsessed with his career, he seems to brush it off (again and again) - and he's got a Joni Mitchell album on his dashboard. You get the idea.

But their love is thwarted by Morgan (Paula Patton), Leslie's sister and the aforementioned hoebag - who steps in and totally cock-blocks Leslie. Scott, the most down-to-earth basketball player ever, remember, is naturally fooled by Morgan's gold-digging ways.

OK, so here's the thing: Forget everything I just told you. Turns out the situation resolves itself, and the first act of the movie could have been removed without interrupting the second and third acts at all.

The real meat of Just Wright comes when Scott McKnight (you hear his name a lot in the movie) badly injures his knee, threatening his career. There's only one way for him to rehabilitate in time to make it to playoffs, and that's to employ a decent, kindhearted, basketball-loving physical therapist.

The odds are staggering.

So this is what we live with for the last two-thirds of the movie. He warms to her, she remains hot for him. He loses spirit, she tells him to believe in himself (really). They hug for just a little too long before pulling away.

All the while, what Just Wright is banking on is the likeability of Common and Queen Latifah to carry the movie. Unfortunately, while both actors seem like nice people, they don't really seem like actors. More like performers in a school play. There is a lot of time spent in this movie with the two actors competing to see who can smile the widest and insisting they really love street food and Charles Mingus - but the words sound so foreign coming from their mouths.

And when Scott McKnight takes it to the court, whoa, you better watch the fuck out! The camera goes bananas when it sees a basketball! What is usually a bland affair, turns into a flashy (but still bland) affair. It's as if director Sanaa Hamri just wanted to make a basketball movie and is annoyed Queen Latifah keeps stepping into frame.

What this amounts to is a movie that means well, but stretches on into infinity. As the ending everyone saw coming moved slowly closer, my resentment for the film's lack of creativity grew. As a coping mechanism, I began to focus all my attention on an early cameo by comedian Leo Allen (of Slovin and Allen). He was the only person in the movie who seemed as frustrated as I was.

Reviewer rating: one and a half out of four stars

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