I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Love & Basketball (2000)

Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) loves basketball with a passion. She plays on her high school girls' basketball team, and she is quite good. Her buddy who lives next door, Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) plays basketball on the boys' team and he has potential, too. His dad, Zeke (Dennis Haysbert) was a big-time basketball star back in the day. Monica and Quincy's skills help to get them into college, where their career paths split. Quincy is courted by professional basketball teams, and it appears that his future is all set. Monica's path is not so clear--she has to go to Europe in order to have a professional sports career because of the limited opportunities for women in the States. Also complicating things is the fact that she and Quincy do like each other a lot, but they can't seem to get it together.

Quincy gets his shot at the big time. Monica returns to the USA and seeing no other options, follows her dad (Harry J. Lennix) into the banking business. There is still something there between the two, but family drama/expectations, and a tragedy threaten to cool the relationship for good.

I appreciated that Monica's character was a tomboy, and that the story showed conflict between that and what others thought she should be. There is a showdown between Monica and her housewife mother (Alfre Woodard) that feeds into that. During another scene, a catty classmate comments on Monica's prom dress: "I didn't know Nike made dresses". I would have slapped that cow down, but Monica wisely played her off. The martial problems with Quincy's parents explained a lot of his slowness in recognizing what a jewel he had in Monica. The movie also does a good job on showing how hard it is, even in this day and time, to become a professional female athlete and get the respect.

Many familar faces in this film. In addition to the actors already mentioned, Shar Jackson ("Moesha"), Gabriella Union ("The Night Stalker"--the present TV series), Boris Kodjoe ("Soul Food"), Debbi Morgan ("All My Children"), Kyla Pratt ("One On One"), and Tyra Banks ("The Tyra Show") all have roles.


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