In 1981 in L.A., Monica moves in next door to Quincy. They're 11, and both want to play in the NBA, just like Quincy's dad. Their love-hate relationship lasts into high school, with ... See full summary »
In small-town Texas, high school football is a religion. The head coach is deified, as long as the team is winning and 17-year-old schoolboys carry the hopes of an entire community onto the... See full summary »
James Van Der Beek,
In 1981 in L.A., Monica moves in next door to Quincy. They're 11, and both want to play in the NBA, just like Quincy's dad. Their love-hate relationship lasts into high school, with Monica's edge and Quincy's top-dog attitude separating them, except when Quincy's parents argue and he climbs through Monica's window to sleep on the floor. As high school ends, they come together as a couple, but within a year, with both of them playing ball at USC, Quincy's relationship with his father takes an ugly turn, and it leads to a break up with Monica. Some years later, their pro careers at a crossroads, they meet again. It's time for a final game of one-on-one with high stakes. Written by
Producer Spike Lee believed the female lead should have believable basketball skills. Gina Prince-Bythewood said in an interview "I saw over 700 people for the part: actors, ballplayers, people who had never acted before in their life. It finally came down to Sanaa [Lathan] and Niesha Butler [a star player at Georgia Tech and 1999 Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year]. I put Sanaa with a basketball coach for two months and Niesha with an acting coach." See more »
During the final one-on-one basketball scene, Quincy and Monica both have the ball in one shot. See more »
Love and Basketball: Monica and Quincy have lived beside one another since they were kids, and they only care about two things in life - basketball and each other.
I am definitely more of a movie fan than a basketball fan, thus I went in expecting a jock flick with a token relationship thrown in to justify the title. I could not have been more wrong. Unlike "He Got Game" (another very good film), which dwells solely on the negative aspects of the sport - hustlers, hookers, drugs and death, L&B concentrates on the positive things in life and basketball serves as the background rather than the focus. The story is very well written and works on several levels - it refuses to be pinned down as simply a romance or drama, choosing instead a careful blending of different elements. My only complaint - minor at that - would have to be the ending (and no I'm not going to tell you).
First, how could I find fault with a film that actually does a great casting job with Tyra Banks? She has a small cameo role- she plays a beautiful stewardess, small stretch - with some great lines. Omar Epps brings his trademark cockiness to the role, and although it took me awhile to buy him as a basketball player -he's not exactly Goliath -he grows on you. More importantly, he exhibits and a depth and range that he's never shown before. Sanaa Lathan however, goes one step further, and demonstrates an intensity both on and off the court that puts her in a league all her own. Her performance can be summed up as superb.
L&B is real, engaging, and enjoyable.
Don't miss it.
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