Love and Basketball

"Weak"

Love and Basketball Review


Of all of the projects for Spike Lee to attach his name onto, Love and Basketball may go down as one of the most idiotic. Lee produced this Hoop Dreams meets Romeo and Juliet love story and his largest mistake by far was to hand the position of director over to Gina Prince-Bythewood. Prince may have made four films, but she still hasn't gotten it quite right. And, from the looks of it, she won't be getting it right anytime soon.

Love and Basketball concerns Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan), a basketball loving girl who wants nothing more than to be the first woman in the NBA. Her next door neighbor, Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) is the son of a NBA player and wants nothing more than to follow in his father's footsteps and get some booty along the way. When he realizes (at about age 18) that the booty he has been wanting all along has been living next door, he quickly hooks up with her. Both find themselves going to USC and both find themselves on the USC basketball teams.

At this point, you are a half hour into the movie. The remaining hour and a half is wasted on the will-they-won't-they as their romance becomes turbulent, then nonexistent, and then turbulent again. It is also wasted on Monica's undying quest to become the first female NBA player, and the hardships that she must face as a woman who loves basketball.

All of this ardent feminism is a great thing, but placed in the inept hands of screenwriter and director Gina Prince-Bythewood it turns into an excuse to attempt to further a story about love. If Love and Basketball focused on its romantic aspects and removed the failed attempt to make the story have three plots (Quincy's career, Monica's career, and Quincy and Monica) then it might just have ended up being entertaining. Instead, it ended up being very trite and very tiring. Add to this already faulty film the fact that it is told in quarters, three of which take place in the 1980s, and you often end up feeling as if you are watching the basketball game from hell with retro music on.

The only things that make this movie even close to bearable are the excellent performances by its two leads. Epps, who has been on a good streak since his role on ER takes a low-grade stock character such as Quincy and makes him into someone we can stand to watch for two hours. Lathan positively shines as Monica... almost making an unwatchable character into something I can look at for the duration of the film. If it weren't for the two of them, I might have been tempted to walk out.

He lost game.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 30 mins

In Theaters: Friday 31st August 2001

Box Office Worldwide: $27.7M

Budget: $20M

Production compaines: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: ,

Starring: Chris Warren, Jr. as Kelvin, as Young Monica, as Monica Wright, as Quincy McCall, as Camille Wright, as Lena Wright, as Young Quincy, Jess Willard as Jamal, Naykia Harris as Young Lena, as Nathan Wright, as Nona McCall, as Zeke McCall, Al Foster as Coach Hiserman, Colleen Matsuhara as UCLA Coach, as Shawnee, as Kyra Kessler, as Coach Davis, as Jason, Erika Ringor as Sidra O'Neal, as Kerry

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.