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Love & Basketball
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Reviews & Ratings for
Love & Basketball More at IMDbPro »

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30 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

love & basketball & family & gender roles &...

Author: beastwakko from LA, CA
18 April 2000

I was watching a Lakers games when I first saw a commercial for Love & Basketball, so naturally it was comprised of mostly basketball action and a snippet of an adult version of the b-ball game HORSE. I thought, "oh, cute movie about a guy and girl who play basketball and get together". Not exactly earth-shattering, I thought, but cute. So imagine my surprise when I saw the film start like a cute movie but then evolve. And deepen. And bloom. I laughed, I sat on the edge of my seat in anticipation, and I swear I almost cried. A "cute" movie? This film had levels I hadn't dreamed of and spoke to so much more than just sex and basketball, and yet all of it was held together cohesively by the love affair and the commitment to the sport. I was thoroughly impressed by the performances all around and by Ms. Prince-Blythewood's unerring writing and direction. A definite recommendation.

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24 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

A great relationship film, I give it a 10

10/10
Author: maccaveili from United States
18 January 2002

First off, let me say that I am a huge fan of almost every sport known to mankind. Now perhaps because of this, you'd think I'd enjoy movies easier whose central theme revolves around a sport. Contrary to that notion though, I am often a hard rater of sports movies because I expect so much from them.

I really enjoyed this movie though. I thought the acting by both Lathan and Epps was outstanding. I found it to be extremely realistic, with the exception of seeing Epps in a Laker uniform, but other than that, it was real. At one point during the film, I really started to wonder if this film was based on a true story or something, how cool would that have been. Nonetheless, the fictional story is captivating.

Yes I am a guy and I love sports, but I do like watching the occassional love story. I liked Pearl Harbor and Titantic which revolved around love stories, and I liked this love story too. There is more to it though, than just two people who fall for each other who happen to play basketball.

There is the relationship not only between Quincy and Monica, but the relationships they had with their father and mother respectively. There is also the relationship they have with the world they live in, trying to find out what they really want in life. It really makes you think about how sometimes the very thing you are looking for is actually standing right there in front of you and you don't realize it.

In the end, I loved Love and Basketball, and I give it a 10.

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

I never saw this side of basketball before

Author: gerald Booth (chuckrules@juno.com) from alexandria VA
14 April 2002

Follows the relationship of Monica and Q from elementary school, through high school, college, and life afterwards as they grow to maturity on the court and off. Sanaa Lathan is great as Monica, the girl who wants nothing more than to be the first woman to play in the NBA yet slowly begins to realize there is something greater missing from her life. Omar Epps does his usual fine performance as Q, a boy striving to be better than his NBA star father who learns that a man doesn't necessarily have to be a star. The basketball scenes are well shot and pretty realistic in the aspect of how male and female teams are viewed by the fans. Overall a very enjoyable movie.

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Terrific Non-Stereotypical, Feminist African-American Romance

9/10
Author: noralee from Queens, NY
12 December 2005

"Love and Basketball" is one of the most feminist and non-stereotypical teen-through-20something movies I've ever seen.

It's in effect a tribute to Title IX and the WBNA, casually showing a girl with basketball dreams, and how it affects her personal life and those around her. Highly recommended for teens!

As good as Omar Epps was though, I thought he was a bit short to be believable as an NBA prospect.

Except for one talky section of the movie towards the end where everyone pretty much says the obvious about their relationships, the rest of the character development is done visually and through situations and not one sports movie (or African-American) cliché. It is a date movie because both leads change.

Stay through the credits to see a sweet shot at the end.

I was girding for a hip hop soundtrack, but it's old school R & B all the way and lovely to listen to (complete with a wonderful line that the audience really appreciated: "Mom, why are you drinking? I haven't seen you drink so much since Marvin Gaye died."

(originally written 5/6/2000)

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The title says it all

7/10
Author: Shiva-11 from Vancouver, BC
22 April 2000

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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15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

this is the bomb

Author: spearitt (spearitt@hotmail.com) from liverpool, engand
2 April 2002

i must of watched this film a hundred times it is so fab. Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps are brillant in this movie. It is not only a super love storey but it shows the womans rights to play a sport she loves. This film is by far the best film i have ever seen the actors the director everybody involved in this movie was totaly brillant. There has been many love stories that are typical they meat fall in love and live happy for the rest of there lives, this movie shows the ups and downs of a relationship but still the bond between them is never broken. This is a movie worth getting.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Unexpectedly Emotional

9/10
Author: Andrea Hazzard from Brooklyn, NY
19 August 2001

This is not just another sports movie. It's a story about the many layers of love: mother and child, father and child, between siblings, between friends, the romantic love between a man a woman, and love for sport and trying to maintain and balance of all of these. Basketball is the back drop but the characters are the story. I can watch it everyday and will have a tear in my eye each time.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Love and Basketball

10/10
Author: brittney7717 from United States
27 December 2005

i love this movie.. actually i watching it now.. I love how it puts love into one of my favorite sports.. its so much fun to watch and you never get sick of watching it. It shows how Monica and Q have grown through the "quarters"in the movie.. This movie reminds me a lot of my first love, when we broke up I still loved him just as Monica did with Q.. My favorite part of this movie is when everything is going great with them and they are in college and their life just seems perfect. My least favorite part is when they are going through their crossroads because i hate to see people that are so in love break up. this is my favorite movie and i would recommend it to anyone!!!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Everybody's All-American sepiaized x 2

Author: Ms. V from Sacramento, CA
30 July 2000

Instantly, when I watched this one, I could not help but harken back to Everybody's All-American, which had sports as an undercurrent to the central love story between Gavin and Babs streching a full quarter-century in spanning four decades. Even with football enveloping all which had entwined their lives, the humaneness of those two characters could not be discounted, especially with Babs emerging into a more stronger character who came into her own as a woman and an individual toward the film's end.

I bring that up to start my assessment of Love and Basketball. Yes, there were differences, of course, with Quincy (Omar Epps, of whose work I have been a fan of since "Juice" in 1992) and Monica (Sanaa Lathan, who has seemingly come from nowhere to emerge as a serious talent to be reckoned with on the screen!) both being African-American. And instead of football, the sport was basketball. And instead of one athlete, there were two, as Monica was a superior talent on par with Gavin Gray and Quincy McCall. And the story, of course, was set more in the recent past, from 1981 to the present.

Nonethelss, this was also a film which touched my heart. I loved the depth which both actors in this film displayed, showing them not only as athletes and people, but also as they were with regard to their families as well. And the depths from where they came to where they ultimately went, from their beginnings as children to the adults they grew up into, was nothing short of amazing. I saw this not as a "black" movie, but rather as a movie about African-Americans and their dreams, desires, pains and triumphs as individuals and as a couple.

The way this was broken down into four quarters is a testament to Gina Prince-RockByTheWood's astute writing and directing. And the supporting cast was on-mark also, from Alfre Woodard and Debbi Morgan on through to Dennis Haysbert and Harry J. Lennix...as well as Tyra Banks in her smaller yet significant role as the film bore on down the stretch. All-in-all, a film definitely worth the see. I came away with a warm smile not only on my face, but in my heart as well.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Intelligent romantic comedy with a feminist touch.

Author: hillari from Chicago, USA
24 April 2000

I loved that Monica was fierce about her love of basketball, had a quick temper on the court, and knew exactly what she wanted. I kept waiting for her to punch out those idiot female high school classmates of hers who kept picking on her because she was a tomboy. There was a nice contrast between Monica's independence and the traditional homemaker route that her mother took. The subplot about the troubled marriage of Quincy's parents was also well done. I have seen other basketball movies ("Above The Rim" and "He Got Game" comes to mind), but this is one of the better ones, esp. since it tells the story from the viewpoint of the female athlete, and an African-American one, at that. I wholeheartedly recommend this. It's free of the fluff that permeates other romantic dramas.

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