Title: Just Wright
Starring: Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton
Directed By: Sanaa Hamri
Written By: Michael Elliot
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Runtime: 1 hr 51 min
Release Date: 9/14/2010
Synopsis: (3.5 out of 5)
Video: (3.5 out of 5)
Audio: (4 out of 5)
Extras: (1 out of 5)
Overall: (3.5 out of 5)
"You are not supposed to show him your regular self until you've been married for five years."
If the moral of the story in Just Wright could be summed up in two words, they would be; Be Yourself. Leslie Wright (Latifah) is a successful physical therapist, and single. Leslies greatest downfall is that she tends to be her true self more than she is advised to be by her god-sister. Just as the quote above reads, Leslie's god-sister Morgan (Patton) explains to Leslie that to get a man she must do everything she can to get that man, even if it means being something she is not. Leslie is a down to Earth girl who would never change for anyone, not even to gain the interest of a man and even if that man is one of the top players in the NBA. On the other hand, that is exactly Morgan's plan and that NBA player is Scott McKnight (Common). At the top of his game playing for the New Jersey Nets and closing in on an NBA championship, McKnight is in the spotlight and Morgan plans to be in it with him.
McKnight faces his worst nightmare during the All-Star game when one wrong step tweaks his knee and he is predicted to be out until the next season. In need of the best physical therapy out there, a young attractive woman is hired to do the job, but when Morgan becomes jealous of this woman she requests that Leslie be the one to bring McKnight back to his A-game. Leslie accepts the responsibility to do so. While Leslie does her best to bring McKnight back, the chances of a return by the playoffs is very slim and because Morgan wanted to be with McKnight for the fame and fortune, she realizes that she will not receive either if she is with a has-been basketball player. Morgan leaves McKnight, crushing him inside as well as his willingness to push forward to get better by the playoffs. Leslie, being the the no excuses woman she is, works McKnight like he's never been worked before, pushing him beyond his limits so that he will be prepared for the playoffs.
Months have gone by and McKnight is healthy for the playoffs and is also in a strong relationship with Leslie. That strong relationship hits a speed bump when Morgan comes crawling back for McKnight begging him to take her back. McKnight is thrown for a loop and Leslie leaves because she knows she doesn't stand a chance when it comes to appearance compared to Morgan. As McKnight and Morgan work on their relationship again, McKnight comes to the realization that he is not happy with her. He was pushed, hassled, and loved by Leslie and felt none of these with Morgan. Leslie is looking for a job outside of New Jersey as to run from her problems. McKnight finds her in Philadelphia and begs her to reconsider him by confessing his love to her. With a prominent career lined out in Philadelphia, Leslie is faced with a life changing decision that she is forced to make on the spot.
I was actually quite surprised by the movie's rating. At a PG rating this movie is an enjoyable movie for young and old. It is actually a pretty inspiring movie for not just couples, or singles who are searching, but for anyone in any stage of life (see "Overall"). The language is at a minimum, and the sexual content is as well.
I thought the film's 1080p 2.39:1 transfer was spectacular. The video was very colorful and the contrast was set just right (not to refer to the title or anything). So why did I give it a 3.5 rating? This is a romantic comedy set around an NBA player. During the NBA games the shots are meant to resemble what you see on television, some even look to have the handheld appearance. I thought this fit well with the NBA games, but this style seemed to carry on into the everyday sections of the movie, having that handheld feel. I thought this was out of fashion for a romantic comedy, and almost took the focus away from the story. The picture quality, however, was superb.
The DTS-HD master audio never seems to disappoint. Everything about the audio in Just Wright was tremendous. From the basketball games, to the restaurant noise, and even the sound of ESPN coming through the television. A lot of films I have seen the television noise seems to be obvious that it was edited to sound like it was coming out of the set, and it sometimes makes you laugh because of how cheesy it sounds. Maybe the sound studios have mastered a more perfect way of editing television noise to sound more correct, but Just Wright seemed to have it set perfect. Not only was the television sound convincing, the NBA games were given an authentic feel by having the TNT announcers and Stuart Scott from ESPN present as well. Not only having the real announcers in the movie made the NBA games seem real, but there was a good number of NBA players who took part in the games. From Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Dwayne Wade, Rajon Rondo, and many more, these players made the games look and feel real, where as most movies that feature professional sports often times are not convincing at all!
Nothin special here, just a few sneak peeks are all that fill the special features.
As a fan of Queen Latifah and basketball, I was definitely looking forward to seeing Just Wright. However, this is one of Latifah's more serious roles where she is not the hilarious character she usually plays. Yes, she did have some funny moments, but for the most part this was more romantic than a comedy. I am a huge fan of romantic comedies as well, especially when watching with my wife. She can get her fill of romance from the movie and I can get my fill of laughs, but this was not the case throughout Just Wright. Don't get me wrong, this was an enjoyable movie, there were enough comedic parts to keep my interested, but the majority of the movie was about Latifah finding love by being her true self.
I also though that Common did a great job playing the role of a caring basketball player. Maybe that is why the NBA participated so much in the film, because Common gave a view of basketball players that we are not too familiar with. We see so many stories of basketball players and their run-ins with the law, but Just Wright gave the spin that there are players that are not on their high horse, and there are players who truly do care for others. Latifah did a great job playing a girl who is fine with who she is and does not believe in changing herself to attract a man, and I thought she did a great job playing this role seeing that this is the kind of person she appears to naturally be.
As I mentioned above in the video section, I thought that director Sanaa Hamri did a great job with making the NBA games seem authentic like the way we see them on television, but at the same time making you feel like you were actually at the game. However, this style of filming was carried on so long that it became distracting during the film and it almost took away from the story. Overall I thought Just Wright was an enjoyable movie to see one time. There are a list of romantic comedies that I feel no shame as a male to sit down and watch them by myself, but I do not see Just Wright as being one of those films. I do think it is a great movie for couples, especially if she is in the mood for an enjoyable romantic movie.