Just Wright

16 Jul

Title: Just Wright
Year: 2010
Director: Sanaa Hamri
Writer: Michael Elliot
Starring: Queen Latifah, Common, Mehcad Brooks, Pam Grier, Paula Patton and a bunch of NBA players
MPAA Rating: PG, some suggestive material and brief language
Runtime: 100 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating: 3.6
Rotten Tomatoes: 49%

This was made with all the right intentions possibly, and Queen Latifah and Common are likable as hell and fresh as leads, but unfortunately that’s the only thing fresh about this film, which otherwise is just an accumulation of clichés in a more than over-done story, however, that being said I will have to admit that I ended up liking it. Common, I think, isn’t as natural an actor as Latifah and his musician-to-actor transition hasn’t been as smooth, but the fact that he is quite likable makes him quite okay for a film like this, and formulaic or not, I ended up enjoying it much more than I thought I would.

Queen Latifah is the reason this film worked for me, I’ve always liked her because she’s always fun and just plain cool, I like those qualities in her, she’s a cool woman and she’s in control of herself in a way that’s great to see, especially because in a film like this you need at least one of your leads to command attention and own the frame like she can.

The story is one we’ve heard many times before in many different ways, and it’s the one of a guy that is about to marry the more obviously beautiful woman in the equation, which in this one would be Morgan, the Paula Patton character, but then something happens that gets him spending more time with Morgan’s best friend, which would be the Queen Latifah role. In this precise story the thing goes like this: Common is a pro basketball player, he is dating Morgan who just wants to be a player’s wife but then he gets seriously injured and decides to get Morgan’s best friend who’s a physical therapist to move into his place to help him fight it off. We all know how these stories end by now, all we want now is just to have good actors and fresh surroundings and context to see it develop.

What’s good in Just Wright is how the director handles this known-all-too-well formula, because what she does is give it time to do the building up, sure we all know how it’s gonna go and end, but instead of just giving us that we take our time exploring the characters, and as I said, this works well because we have Queen Latifah who’s fun at this, and even though Common doesn’t necessarily excel he does have chemistry with her, and that’s all we need from him to have his character work. This is a good film because it doesn’t do love-at-first-sight but instead just does love-as-it-really-happens, and with two refreshing leads it makes a formulaic rom-com work, and that’s rare nowadays.

Grade: B-

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