Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bougie Movie Review: “Just Wright”

I'm confused… I read all of these reviews about "Just Wright" being just okay and Common being terrible and the chemistry being off… I didn't see that. I bought Common as an NBA player much more than I bought Adam Sandler as an NFL quarterback. I thought their chemistry was fine. Especially during the scene at The Rucker and at the jazz club. It worked for me. Of course, I went in expecting a cute, basic romantic comedy with sports elements. That's what I got.

I would've liked to see a few more things fleshed out. That might be the writer in me. I wanted to understand what was up with Paula Patton's character… you don't get that shallow and clueless overnight. What was up with Pam Grier's character that she wasn't repping hard for her own daughter? Where were the rest of Common's character's friends? Every baller I ever met has at least one homeboy from back in the day that dishes it to them straight, where was that guy?

No it was not ground-breaking originality nor were there mesmerizing performances. But Common held his own, Queen La did her thing and the supporting (with the exception of Patton) was strong and well-cast. By now you all have heard the plotline – Leslie Wright, a physical therapist and basketball fan, runs into Scott Wright – an all-star player for the New Jersey Nets at a gas station. They strike up a conversation and he invites her to his birthday party. She attends and brings her god-sister/play cousin Morgan Alexander. Morgan immediately runs game on Scott and he falls for it. They become a couple while Leslie looks in, used to being cast in the role as the "gal-pal" forever consigned to the Friend Zone.

Mehcad Brooks (as the teammate), Phylicia Rashad (as Scott's Mom), Pam Grier (as Leslie's Mom) and James Pickens Jr (as Leslie's Dad) are completely underutilized but still add the right touch to their roles. James Pickens Jr (of Grey's Anatomy fame) does a particularly touching job as Leslie's dad, advocate and hapless handyman.

Scott gets hurt during the All-Star game, Leslie steps in to rehab him and Morgan flees not wanting to get stuck with a "B" player. With Morgan's bubble fake persona out of the way, Leslie and Scott develop a friendship and eventually take it to the next level. From there it's all redemption and choices. Will Scott ever play again, will he get a new contract, will he choose Leslie or Morgan, and is there a happily ever after in there?

The movie is worth a look even if you do nothing else but support African American artists, directors and theatre. For me, I liked it. I thought it was cute and it left me with the same "Aww" feeling that I expect from rom-coms. I gave it 3.5 purple sandals out of 5.

Who has seen it? What did you think? NO SPOILERS PLEASE!


AppleBerryMIA said...

Saw it last night. I liked it. I thought it was cute. It was believable enough for the movies. If you want reality, check out a documentary.

kimistry101 said...

I gave it a C-. I am both fans of Queen and Common, but not here. The movie was predictable, humor was too bland, heavily cliched, no chem w/ Queen and Common. I expected a better love scene, I would have settled for a kiss then fade to black. I went to the noon show and I love that the theatre was packed though.

baileyqc said...

Going to see it tonight... can't wait. People take stuff too seriously. It's a relationship movie, not Sportscenter or the Discovery channel.

sunt97 said...

I guess I may have to pay and see this one as I normally do not go to the movies (I still haven't seen Avatar, lol).

Peace, Love and Chocolate

missmajestic said...

I was disappointed. It was just okay, it wasn't GREAT. I thought it would turn into a classic favorite like Brown Sugar or the Best Man or love and basketball. It was missing something. It didn't go deep enough. The story coulda been done without Paula's character. And it did kinda sweep over her past.

I'm glad I went to see it though. I wish Phylica Rashad had more scenes. They shoulda just named her Claire. If she plays someone's mom I will always think Claire.

Now I like Common. But I'm not a huge fan of his. No particular reason, he just doesn't move me, but I did have one of his CD's. The only movie I've seen with him in it was American Gangster. In Just Wright, I kept wondering "why is he talking like that" I kept thinking maybe they want him to sound like a dumb athlete. Why is his speech so stilted? Then low and behold I see a video of him on Jimmy Kimmel and he is still talking like that. I don't think he was horrible-he was convincing as an athlete but the chemistry coulda been better with Queen and Paula. He just looked kinda dazed to me throughout the movie. He really had like the same expression through the whole thing almost. Actually now that I think about it maybe Sanaa Lathan woulda been better as Leslie. And Mechad coulda been Scott but Common was a better box office draw. (I mean we saw how emotional he could get on the game).

It was just okay, but I love to see "us" on the big screen. I would watch it again.

kimistry101 said...

haha.. I got that too, like does Common only have one facial expression. He's not new to acting.

Talulazoeapple said...

I loved the movie. It was a feel good rom com. I saw it and the audience applauded during the movie. I thought Common held his own. I, too, wanted to understand the Paula Patton character. I was upset when Pam Grier didn't rep for her own daughter as you put it.

I enjoyed your review. It is really honest.

MochaMuffin said...

I loved it too... I didn't think it was a classic like Love Jones but it did what I wanted it to do. Best Girl wins, Guy gets girl... I'm happy.

ChiChi said...

I'd give it a C-, too. I knew what to expect and that's what I got. You could see the preview and know what's gonna happen. Common's acting was hilarious to me. I enjoyed looking at him, though. LOL

rikyrah said...

I'm going this week. thanks for this review

Crystal said...

I agree, It was an ok movie, C- and yes, Common's acting was not the best but he looks soooo good... and he looks like he smells like incense and peaches!!! Yummy!!!

Erica BF said...

I loved this movie. Maybe it had to do alot with me being die hard basketball fan, and Common is not all that bad to look at either! To me it was the "Black", and "Professional" form of "Pretty Woman", No, Queen is not a prostitue but Common was her Knight in Shining Armor. I thought the characters were people that ordinary people could realate to. I thought the chemisty that Queen and Common showed on screen was incredible. Yes, I think there should have been more elabration on why Morgan (Paula Patton) was the way that she was but then again the movie was not about her character. I think it will be a movie that I'll keep in my DVD collection, right next to "Love Jones" and Love and Basketball".


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