Just Wright Movie Review: Queen Latifah Scores Big In Sports Flick

Queen Latifah is always a refreshing switchup as a woman who fills the screen with enormous charm, and far more than just physically, as opposed to the standard scrawny and hollow bimbo beauty assembly line in movies. And in the sports comedy Just Wright, Queen reigns in romantic competition as well, imparting the rarely seen or heard concept to impressionable girls out there, that character should count more than body assets alone.

Latifah is Leslie Wright in the film, a physical therapist and basketball fan with a successful career but a wreck of a car and an even worse love life. And, in contrast to Morgan (Paula Patton), her male magnet girlfriend who is swamped with infatuated guys, but stuck with commitment issues. It seems that Leslie easily bonds with men, but her lack of hottie appeal keeps her at arm’s length in mere buddy territory.

Just Wright

So when Leslie is smitten after a chance encounter at a gas station with NBA All-Star Scott McKnight (Common), Morgan is soon moving in and snatching the basketball celeb as a trophy hunk. But after Scott is seriously injured on the court and requires a little professionally applied therapeutic attention from Leslie, the tables may be set for turning as to which woman has the genuine sweetness and soul to capture his heart. Not to mention how a similar surface notion of male celebrity and fame can distract or mislead, when it comes to essential inner guy appeal fulfilling to women.

Directed by Sanaa Hamri (The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2), Just Wright gets it more than right despite substantial storytelling predictability, when tapping into pressures on females to focus more on their outer trimmings and how they look, rather than who they are. Especially following on the heels of the banning of that Lane Bryant lingerie television ad featuring an apparently socially unacceptable big bodied woman, ironically in a sea of commercials cluttered with smutty scantily clad slim seductresses and explicit sex enhancement products for men. Female body image police beware, Latifah is turning things around on the big screen and in a big way, for a beauty’s only skinny deep change.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Rated PG

3 stars

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.