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I saw the story that was being told and at first I thought I'd enjoy it
but I walked out of the theater with a little more emptiness than when
I walked in. It felt like there was just a lot of stuff missing from
the movie but it was thanks to Queen Latifah's performance that made it
worth the watch.
The story is about Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) a physical therapist who goes to a Nets game and ends up meeting her favorite basketball player Scott McKnight (Common). After she gets him hooked up with her no less than shallow friend Morgan Alexander (Paula Patton) she thinks he changed her for the better. But after he gets injured she reveals shes just the same shallow person she always was and decides to leave him. So now with the help of Leslie, Scott is having to find the strength to go on to save his career and maybe find love in process. When Morgan comes back asking for forgiveness Scott has to make a choice between the beautiful girl or the girl whose beauty shows on the outside and inside.
While the story was good and there were a few funny moments I'm afraid it really didn't do anything for me. The performance by Queen Latifah saved the movie for me while it wouldn't be my first choice its a good movie to watch just to see Queen Latifah do what she does best. But there were performances that really didn't get to me like Queen Latifah did. Common for about half way through the film was not putting on a very good show. Most of the time he would make himself look pretty naive. Like when Morgan asks for forgiveness it just looked like he didn't learn a single thing. While I have to give the character praise for being a man who still has faith in mankind even after what he goes through. I think while it was annoying to see someone be so gullible and fall for acts like those it really helped the rest of the movie by giving the character something to change about himself and add to the drama of the film. There were moments of comedy but nothing truly funny to make me laugh out loud. And I think it would've been good to see more of the problems in the relationship between Leslie and her mother something to help add to the drama of the film.
In the end the film was enjoyable maybe if it was someone else besides Queen Latifah then the movie would've been ruined for me. Every time she went off screen I wouldn't shut my eyes because I knew she'd be back in just a minute. A movie mostly meant for people who just want to see Queen Latifah at one of her best moments.
(Credit IMDb) Leslie Wright is a straight-shooting physical therapist
who gets the gig of a lifetime working with NBA All-Star Scott
McKnight. All is going well until Leslie finds herself falling for
Scott, forcing her to choose between the gig and the tug-of-war inside
her heart. Oblivious to her romantic overtures, McKnight is instead
drawn to the affections of Leslie's childhood friend Morgan, who has
her sights set on being an NBA trophy wife. Is Leslie destined to play
the role of "best friend" forever or will Scott finally see that what
he always wanted is right in front of him?
I actually enjoyed bits and pieces of this movie, it was really starting off well, but it didn't take long to head into a downward spiral. I like the fact for once both love interests intentions are honorable and such, but it was all too predictable. For starters, it's possible yes, but am I really supposed to believe a big star like Scott McKnight (Common) could be that nice? It just felt a bit too dreamy to me, and while I think it would be lovely for today's world, I really don't see that happening. The performances aren't a question, in fact it's arguable that all of them were either above average or great, it's just the script is too phony and a bit too weak. The finale itself also reeks of clichés, and turns into your typical Romance ending.
The Acting. Queen Latifah is purely the heart of this film. She clearly put every ounce of effort she had in this movie, and it shows. Her performance is electrifying and full of energy and charisma, but the script just doesn't back all that up unfortunately. She is everything a Woman should be in this world, and she pulled it off with conviction and believability. Common himself is also pretty good, not as good as Latifah, but good. He's charmingly nice (Bit too nice if you ask me) and did as much as he could, while having competent and believable chemistry with Latifah. Paula Patton plays her deceiving, greedy role to a T, showing a little heart at the end. Pickens Jr. Rashad (Of Cosby fame) and Pam Grier do well as the respected parents. Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade has amusing cameos.
Bottom line. I didn't mind this, and it kept me watching. But it could have been so much more, and it deserved more with all the effort the cast gave to it. Watch it just for Latifah, her performance is worth the price of admission.
5 ½ /10
Queen Latifah shows us everything she's got in Just Wright, a charming
romantic comedy about finding true love right in front of you. Just
Wright is about Leslie Wright, a physical therapist who is also a
massive basketball fan and so, when she gets the opportunity to become
Scott McKnight's physical therapist, she is over the moon. The only
thing is, Leslie wants their relationship to be more than professional,
however her cousin Morgan wants to be a wife to any basketball player
and her eyes are on Scott. So as you would expect, Just Wright is yet
another predictable and cliché romantic comedy, however this is
different as this is actually very enjoyable. The greatest quality
about the movie is the story. Even though it's predictable from the
first sixty seconds of the movie and had many rom-com clichés, it
doesn't spoil the movie because the story was just very charming and is
one of those heart-warming stories that will make you smile all the
time. This isn't one of your usual Zellwegger romantic comedies where a
ditzy woman falls in love with her perfect guy who she clapped eyes on
in the first minute and slapstick comedy ensues. This is about a
professional relationship growing into friendship growing into
something more without the use of the woman falling over every ten
seconds or getting out her over-sized knickers to get laughs, which is
another quality I loved about Just Wright. The comedy used in Just
Wright is basically through charm, the lines that Queen Latifah and
Common's characters use can make you giggle in some parts. The acting
was good and was a massive strength of the movie and Queen Latifah and
Common stand out from the entire cast with their marvellous
performances as their characters. The chemistry between Queen Latifah
and Comm0n was brilliant and very believable.
The characters were written well and they actually had personalities, which is a little unusual to see in romantic comedies considering that most rom-coms have one-dimensional personalities. Just Wright really should have sunk with the very predictable story and the romantic-comedy clichés but writer Michael Elliot and director Sanaa Hamri have made it work and have both done a great job on this movie, you can tell the attention has been put into it. The movie might be predictable but it works because of the charm and the likable leads. Queen Latifah and Common both have done a great job in playing their characters and adding charm to the movie. Some people may think Just Wright is another one of those movies that mixes predictable romantic-comedies with sport and while they might be right, the movie is much more than that. With charming performances and a good story along with it, this beats quite a few movies in its genre.
I don't have anything bad to say about Just Wright, it's one of those movies that's good to watch because of it's nice and charming story and characters. Also, another thing that I loved about Just Wright is the fact that the leads are different to the usual characters you see in romantic-comedy movies and shows that love comes in all shapes and sizes, which was a nice change to see. Overall, this is a good little movie to see and not take seriously. It's very predictable and you'll more than likely guess everything within the first minute of the movie but it's such a charming movie and the story is a good story to follow. If you like Queen Latifah as an actress, then you need to watch this as she gives out a very good performance. This is definitely different to the other romantic-comedies that you see today and it's a welcoming change. To those who plan on making romantic-comedy movies, take a leaf out of this movie's book as the film was what the movie title suggests.
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Basketball and romantic comedy is a weird mix, but I happen to like
both, so "Just Wright" worked for me. I'm concerned the producers
probably thought that they were going to get the male sports market AND
the female romance market, but they are very wrong on that. Too much
corny romance for most male viewers and too many basketball references
for most female viewers. This can probably only be enjoyed by romantic
comedy fans who also like the sport of basketball.
The romantic comedy angle was very formulaic and obtuse. The entire story was laid out from the very beginning, and even earlier than that - it was all in the trailer. There was little depth to the characters and no depth to the situations. No laughs, no tears, but a few smiles.
If you won't get too pained by how obvious the story is, there are some positives. I enjoyed Queen Latifah and, surprisingly, the rapper Common was very enjoyable too. They both came across as likable people whom I wanted to succeed. The slim vs. fat conflicts were kept to a minimum because they aren't their weight, they are people. And, again surprisingly, there was even attempted thought put into the psychology of sports injuries. Although there is almost nothing new in "Just Wright", there is enough to keep fans watching.
Both Leslie Wright and cousin Morgan Alexander are big Nets fans;
however while Leslie is a fan of the team, Morgan is more interested in
landing herself a husband and becoming a NBA-wife. When Leslie chances
upon a meeting at a gas station with loyal Nets point guard Scott
McKnight, she gets an invite to his birthday party and of course Morgan
springs into action. Morgan has the looks to capture her man but Leslie
appears to have more in common with him. When Scott gets injured,
Leslie is employed as live-in physiotherapist supporting his attempts
to save his NBA career.
I didn't expect Just Wright to be a great film but I was happy to meet it on its own genre ground and play by its rules. The reason for this was my ongoing interest in Common's acting career; this is perhaps founded in bitterness since he has only done one album since he started focusing on the acting (and it was rubbish) so I'm keen to see the projects that make the loss (IMO) of such a great artist worthwhile. Since he was the leading man here I thought perhaps this would be the one. The problems with it start immediately as the plot is overly messy, getting a lot of establishment done very quickly meeting Scott, proposing to Morgan, getting injured, getting Leslie into the job; all work done just to get to the "once they spend time together they find one another" part of the film that we all know is coming. This rather serious and rapid stuff gives the first half of the film an overly earnest air that it doesn't warrant, can't carry and never escapes.
The second half of the film see the film become about the professional couple of Leslie and Scott and this focuses on them being together and finding a chemistry. It is obvious and a bit cheesy but it is what the whole film should have been like (and the film be only 90 minutes long as well). However this is not to say that this part is particularly good either the main problem is that the material is not particularly inspired, nor is it particularly charming. It is this second quality that is missing most because this sort of film needs charm to make the formula work. Sadly the material doesn't produce it and the chemistry between the two leads is not all it should be.
This is not down to Latifah though, because she works her sparkle for every last drop she literally gives 100% in every scene and it does show. Common, on the other hand, misjudges his material partly because he has to deal with more of the "earnest plotting" in the first half. He carries his character too serious and too earnestly to get the mood right. He works "OK" with Latifah but the chemistry just doesn't work as well as it should and it is partly his fault. Patton looks good despite having a terrible character who is all about being a plot device in the weaker first half. Meanwhile the cast is packed with faces from black entertainment (Rashad, Grier) and lots of NBA players showing up presumably to make the film more marketable thanks to their presence.
Just Wright does start to get a bit better in the second half when the messy and serious plot setting is done and Latifah's sheer work-rate starts to win the viewer over, but she cannot do it alone and indeed she doesn't. It is not an awful film but it should have been more formula focused, stayed closely to the genre and have delivered the material to match the effort put in by Latifah. Sadly this is another film that makes Universal Mind Control feel like an even worse album than it was.
Hollywood has turned many a hip-hop artist into an actor over the past
two decades. Whilst some were surprisingly decent (Tupac, Mos Def and
LL Cool J spring to mind), the majority were somewhat painful to watch
(Eminem, 50 Cent, DMX). Queen Latifah lies in the former category,
she's likable, funny and has a lot of screen presence. The same cannot
be said for her Just Wright co-star, hip-hop artist Common. In his
first starring role he seems to have channelled Keanu Reeves in his
heyday, stare blankly and the audience will fill in the emotion you're
trying to convey. It's somewhat surprising that his performance is
stilted considering he was being guided by Sanaa Hamri, director of The
Sisterhood of the travelling Pants 2........Exactly.
Latifah plays Leslie Wright, a sports physiotherapist who, wait for it, just can't seem to get a man! We know this because its explained to us roughly 14 times in the first 25 minutes. Her god-sister Morgan, played by Paula Patton, is beautiful but shallow and the guys always seem to go for her. To quote one of Common's collaborators, Kanye West; 'She a golddigga'. Her main aim in life is to bag an NBA all-star and become a ballers wife. Scott McKnight is the New Jersey Nets finest player, so when the two girls get invited to his exclusive birthday bash, who does McKnight choose but Morgan. Poor Queenie. After a whirlwind romance the two get engaged. All seems to be going to Morgan's plan until McKnight suffers a possibly career ending injury. Imagining that her multi-millionaire NBA star fiancé will somehow become penniless because of this, Morgan decides to leave him. In steps Leslie Wright to nurse him back to health with a Rocky style training montage. Their blossoming romance is painfully explained to us in a scene where McKnight spoon-feeds Leslie some chicken soup. After his heroic comeback game Morgan appears on the scene once again but McKnight chooses his true love. In the end they're all friends. Ah.
Whilst its not insultingly awful, Just Wright is so predictably formulaic that you have it figured out 10 minutes in and from there it's just a waiting game. In the Hollywood screenwriters edition of Microsoft Word there seems to be a template entitled 'Sports Rom-Com between $15M and $30M'. Change the sport to Baseball and the lead actress to Drew Barrymore and you basically have The Perfect Catch. I've never been a huge fan of romantic comedies, simply because there aren't many decent ones. Just Wright makes no attempts to push the boat out or break the rom-com mould in any way. Its is the film equivalent of a pot noodle meal, whilst its edible, it has no nutritional value whatsoever.
Just Right now.
I saw this movie before it was released in theaters, and truly enjoyed it. I enjoyed the movie so much that I paid the second time to see it.
People could not get with Paula's character, but women we all know someone just like the character she played. Out for the almighty dollar and not about the character of the man.
I thought the storyline was very refreshing, and it just goes to show why Queen Latifah is named QUEEN. She is truly a remarkable talent.
If you haven't seen the movie, rent the DVD when it's released or just go ahead and buy the movie. You won't be disappointed.
danceability-1, Amsterdam Holland
"Just Wright" was "just bad". I'm sorry to say I gave up after watching
over 1 hour 20 minutes of the film (there were about 20 minutes left).
And I love basketball themed films.
Pam Grier (minimal screen time) is one of my favorite actresses and Queen Latifah is always excellent. But this was as lame as movies get. My guess is that between the poor writing (or was there no writing and the actors were allowed to improvise the whole script) and lack of any direction they couldn't pull off a save.
It was clear that Common has had zero acting classes and it sorely showed. He was un"Common"ly bad and should stick to the music that's making him money. His best acting was when he feigned an injury on the court and when he was flying a toy helicopter. Common should fire his manager for setting him up to crash and burn so badly.
I've always liked Phylicia Rashad as she always does a great job. Unfortunately she didn't have enough screen time to make a difference in this movie either. With Pam Grier and Phylicia Rashad having so little screen time, that left it all to Queen Latifah to carry the weight of the entire failing movie. And she did a truly admirable job of carrying the entire movie. But no one, no matter how good, could succeed when such a poorly written script and bad (or lack of) acting surrounded them, stacking the odds so badly against them.
Honestly, if Pam Grier, Queen Latifah and Phylicia Rashad were allowed to create their own improvised script (since there was no real script anyway) on anything they wanted and with no direction (and it also seemed like there was no direction anyway), I'm sure this movie would have come out better than it did.
If you recorded this, save yourself and hit the delete button. There was a nice concept, but no one wrote a script or gave any direction to this film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Queen Latifah is Leslie Wright, physical therapist, nice and generous
but in her mid-30s with no male prospects in sight. By sheer chance she
meets an all-star basketball player for the NJ Nets, at a filling
station when he doesn't know how to access his filler cap. That she
happens to be a lifelong basketball fan makes things more interesting.
Music artist and rapper Common is that star basketball player, Scott McKnight. After his encounter with Leslie, and seeing how nice she is, he invited her to join a big group at his home for a birthday celebration.
Paula Patton is Leslie's cousin, Morgan Alexander, a pretty lady who has only one ambition, spend money on shopping and finding a wealthy husband so that she can spend even more money on shopping. She insinuates herself into the situation and manages to get Scott to fall for her.
Leslie is disappointed because once again a shallow guy chooses the pretty girl over the better girl, but things turn around when Scott has a serious knee injury, requiring surgery, only 3 months before the playoffs are to begin. By this time Morgan has moved in with Scott, and doesn't like the pretty physical therapist assigned to Scott, so she gets Leslie into the job. Leslie does a super job, works Scott hard, to get him ready for the playoffs, which no one thought possible.
Common, as it turns out, was already a pretty good basketball player, and his father had played in the old ABA, so he didn't require a double for any of the basketball action against legit NBA players.
Not a great movie by any stretch, but a nice rom-com, better than its current low IMDb rating would indicate. Each actor does a fine job.
SPOILERS: Morgan ditches Scott after his injury, no longer seeing his as her meal ticket. Leslie and Scott get closer. When Scott returns and is the hero of the playoffs, Morgan tries to get back in his favor by he has become wise to her. In the end he and Leslie fall in love and head towards being a couple.
I thoroughly enjoyed the spark ignited by Queen Latifah and Common in
this movie. It might be predictable like some say but which movie
isn't. what i like is the fact that Common is the kinda guy we don't
have too many of nowadays. i watched it over six times and still did
not get bored. i enjoyed it and will recommended it for your weekend
movie must watch.
The movie is about Leslie Wright who has a father that adores her but a mother that believes that she should be married if she was not too tom boyish. Her mother does not hide her disdain for her looks when she chose to give her diamond earrings to Morgan (Leslie's god sister) to wear on the day of Scott Mcknight's party. However Leslie was true to herself and this eventually paid off in the end when Scott came to appreciate her for who she is and chose her instead of the gorgeous Morgan.
Sparks fly, chemistry is ignited between Leslie and Scott and for us die-hard romantics its gonna be one of your favorite movies in a long time to come.
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