"Close to Getting It (w)Right"
JUST WRIGHT is the story of Leslie Wright (played by Queen Latifah), a physical therapist and rabid basketball fan who gets her dream job when she is hired to rehab her favorite NBA player, Scott McKnight (played by Common), the star point guard of the New Jersey Nets. Happily for Leslie, the Nets are her favorite NBA team.
Leslie Wright is the kind of woman every man dreams of having – for his best friend. Leslie is a guy’s guy. She loves basketball and doesn’t care too much for make-up. Leslie is a woman of depth and inner beauty; but sadly, her inner beauty often loses out to other women’s outer beauty, especially the outer beauty of her best friend, Morgan, whose only goal in life is to be the wife of an NBA star. When Morgan sidles into Leslie’s developing friendship with Scott, Leslie once again finds herself sitting on the bench while a more beautiful woman gets the guy.
After a career-threatening injury to his knee, Scott is sidelined. When Scott’s career suddenly hangs in the balance, Morgan’s affection conveniently disappears. Even when Morgan leaves Scott alone and broken-hearted, Leslie stays by him, continuing to push him to rehab and get him back on the court in time for the playoffs.
Leslie and Scott grow closer and closer over the coming months, and he makes a successful return to basketball. However, just as Leslie and Scott’s romance is beginning, Morgan reappears, ready to take her place as the gorgeous wife of the NBA star. Ultimately, Scott must decide if he will love Morgan and her outer beauty or Leslie and her inner beauty.
For what it is and what it is trying to accomplish, JUST WRIGHT is successful. The story is definitely formulaic, but it has heart as well as redeeming thematic elements emphasizing inner beauty over outward appearance. Some of the directing choices, however, are odd and somewhat obtrusive, as though multiple directors were attempting multiple cinematic styles, when in fact the movie has only one director. Also, the story itself and the characters are somewhat choppy and underdeveloped.
For instance, Phylicia Rashad, who plays Scott’s mother and fulfills the role of mentor in his life, is not there to guide him at some of his most crucial moments of indecision. There is also a friend of Leslie’s who just shows up in a scene in the second act, and the movie assumes that he has already been introduced and is part of Leslie’s inner circle of friends, almost as if the character’s earlier scenes had been cut as a result of poor editing choices.
That said, the movie is still enjoyable, and it contains a positive message.
JUST WRIGHT has brief foul language, some alcohol use and mild violence when Scott injures his knee in a basketball game as well as a light, mostly mixed, Romantic worldview, but the content of the movie suffers in only one area – the sexual content. There is some unmarried kissing, which is to be expected in a romantic comedy, but the movie also implies that Morgan and Scott are living together as an unmarried couple. Plus, there is implied fornication between Leslie and Scott as their love develops. Though none of this content is done in a very salacious manner, this movie is just more of the same of Hollywood’s promotion of promiscuous lifestyles in which intimate, sexual encounters are portrayed as a natural part of any casual dating relationship.
Also, JUST WRIGHT contains brief references to New Age books one character uses to empower herself into finding a husband. This content is countered by a man saying he hears angels singing.
Ultimately, JUST WRIGHT has a lot of heart, but it is marred by its implied promiscuity, though it doesn’t contain as much foul language as many other Hollywood movies. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends caution.
(RoRo, FR, B, CapCap, Ho, L, V, S, N, AA, M) Mostly mixed Romantic worldview with strong emphasis on love and emotion, brief New Age element as woman reads The Power Of Now, The Secret, and other New Age books to empower herself to find a husband, some biblical/moral elements include man saying he heard angels sing as well as theme of falling in love with someone for whom they are, rather than what they look like, strong pro-capitalist content and brief homosexual joke about having “gaydar” to spot homosexual men; three obscenities and five light profanities (“Oh, my God”); light violence includes man getting injured during basketball game; several shots of unmarried kissing, implied fornication, couple shown in bed afterward, movie implies unmarried couple lives together, and a female physical therapist gives very sensual massage; upper male nudity, female cleavage and woman in very short shorts; alcohol consumption depicted at dinners and parties but no drunkenness; no smoking or drugs; and, some lying as well as consumerism and materialism, though they are shown in a good light.
JUST WRIGHT stars Queen Latifah as is Leslie Wright, a physical therapist and rabid basketball fan who is hired to rehab her favorite NBA player, Scott McKnight. Leslie is the kind of woman every man dreams of having – for his best friend. She is a woman of depth and inner beauty. Sadly, her inner beauty often loses out to other women’s outward beauty, especially her friend, Morgan. When Scott is sidelined with an injury, Leslie helps him rehab. As Scott and Leslie grow closer, Morgan uses her beauty to steal Scott’s affections. Ultimately, Scott must decide if he will love Morgan and her outward beauty or Leslie and her inner beauty.
For what it is and what it is trying to accomplish, JUST WRIGHT is successful. The story is formulaic, but it has heart as well as some moral elements emphasizing inner beauty over outward appearance. There is some unmarried kissing, but the movie also implies living together and pre-marital sex. The movie also contains brief New Age references. Ultimately, JUST WRIGHT has a lot of heart, but it is marred by the implied promiscuity. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for younger audiences.