Friday, May 14, 2010

5 Reasons Why You Should See "Just Wright" This Weekend

Okay folks, if you're week has been anything like mine then you've had a challenging week. You need a mental vacay and a good movie provides just the right escapism. Fox Searchlight's "Just Wright" starring Queen Latifah and Common is a great choice this weekend. Here's 5 reason's why:

1. THE CAST. Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, Phylicia Rashad AND Pam Grier. This line-up is definitely a dream team and it shows. The role of basketball star, Scott Mcknight, fits Common "just right" and he really gets the chance to show his growth as an actor in this film. It was great seeing him in a LEADING ROLE without a gun and partnered with some henchman in a movie.

In "Just Wright" he's a raw peanut complexioned, beautifully sculpted, sexy, intelligent, talented man that we love to fantasize about! Lawd, if I wrote every thought that just popped in my mind, this post might turn into Playgirl.com! (LOL) And having spent a few minutes alone with him in an elevator during the 2006 Grammy Awards, I can personally say he's as a nice as he seems. Despite all the eyes see, it's his spirit and how he expresses it that makes him so sexy to me. Sorry, I digressed!

Of course Queen does what she does best! Truly, was there any doubt? She brought her A-game on screen and definitely behind the camera in co-producing this film. And musically, producing "Champion" for the film's soundtrack just demonstrates how multi-talented this queen really is.

Paula Patton, Pam Grier, Phylicia Rashad, and James Pickens, Jr. totally fill out this winning cast in their respective roles. Though their parts were small they are very important to the story. In fact, I wish there were scenes with all the parents together just see their characters interact. Hopefully, there's a deleted scene of them on the DVD.

2. THE STORY. Admittedly, it's a story we've all seen before and experienced in real life too, but HOW the story is relayed is important. We relate to this story just as we did to "Love and Basketball". The films do have some similarities but what we love about them both is the fact that we see some part of ourselves in the lead characters.

I especially liked the comparison and contrast between Leslie (Queen) and Morgan (Patton), the typical pretty girl vs "thebomb.com" girl-next-door, often overlooked and under appreciated. There is an underlying lesson concerning self-esteem, but it's not preachy which keeps the film focused on what we're paying to see--Queen, Common, and romance on and off the court.

3. IT'S FUBU. And no, I'm not talking about the designer clothing line! I'm talking about how "Just Wright" is created FOR US AND BY US. No dis to white folk, so don't get it twisted, but to have films written by African-Americans, produced AND directed by African-Americans AND giving balance to the usual portrayals of us on the big screen is important to the culture as a whole.

Shout outs to the writer, Michael Elliot ("Brown Sugar"), director, Sanaa Hamri ("Something New"), and producers, Debra Martin Chase ("The Cheetah Girls"), and Queen and Shakim ("Perfect Holiday").

Special shout outs as well to some non-Black people, Wendy and Lisa! Yep that dynamic duo that help make hits for Prince back in the day is alive and well. These ladies have been busy over the years behind the scenes producing soundtracks for films, most recently, "Just Wright" "Something New", and tv shows, "Heroes".

4. IT'S A GREAT DATE MOVIE. Black, White, or whatever you checked on your Census form, this is a movie that is balanced and has broad appeal. Yes, it has much for the ladies but fellas, there's more than enough court action in this film to keep you interested. Secondly, Common's role is not one that's unrealistic. Take away the wealth and he's a regular guy that loves his mom, friends, the ladies, and the game of basketball. The writer does a great job in balancing his good side with basic flaws we all have.

5. THE POST-GAME INTERVIEW. Movies that stir up those on-the-ride-home debates are the best. Undoubtedly, this one will definitely start some honest dialogue on dating and relationships, which seems to be an on-going hot topic. There are great scenes in "Just Wright" that spark "what would you do and why?" conversations. Just be careful how you answer in the car, the wrong answer may leave you on the side of the road!

So, if nothing else I've said convinces you to see this movie IN THE THEATERS this weekend, just remember this. FILMMAKING IS A BUSINESS. If you want to continue seeing more films like "Just Wright" then you have to make them PROFITABLE. Hollywood doesn't give a damn about our cultural sensibilities, what it cares about is money. WE HAVE NOT, CAUSE WE FINANCIALLY SUPPORT NOT! SO LEAVE THE BOOTLEG alone! I'm out! Enjoy the movie!

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