Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Just Wright (2010)

Homie turns hottie

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Just hearing the news that there was a new rom-com on the block starring Queen Latifah had me running for an exit, even before I’d entered a screening room. While I don’t doubt Latifah’s aptitude as an actress (she is Academy award nominated after all), picturing the Set It Off talent in a Cinderella love story was awkward. Now, however, having sat through the hooping shenanigans, the picture is still slightly awkward, but I wasn’t scrambling for the way out.
Just Wright tells the tale of Leslie Wright (Latifah), a physiotherapist who winds up working for basketball star Scott McKnight (Common) after a chance encounter with him at a petrol station. After massaging his limbs, oiling his engine, and putting some much needed fuel in his tank, she realises that she’s in love with the NBA star. But, there’s one problem. He’s in love with her best bud (Paula Patton), who happens to be a bit of a stunner.
Clearly, there’s no need to depict what happens next; the movie stays true to its romantic comedy roots, and so it doesn’t really disappoint.
Patton’s turn as the ditzy BFF is a convincing one, and Phylicia Rashad and Pam Grier’s appearances are also welcomed. Although, Grier as Latifah’s mother?
Common and the Queen make an alright pair, and are obviously comfortable with one another. But, as the credits rolled, I couldn’t help wondering whether Latifah, while likeable as the heroine, was in fact the Wright woman for the job, as she intuitively battled with her apparent homeboy alter ego.
Not quite a slam dunk, but a nice shot nonetheless.

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