Just Wright

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Just Wright Movie Poster Image
Positive messages galore in formulaic, teen-friendly romcom.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

There are positive messages galore, albeit ones delivered in a formulaic manner: Money isn’t everything; a job doesn’t define you, it’s what you do for a living; beauty is, yes, more than skin deep. But some lessons are muddled. Though it’s clear Leslie’s status-seeking friend isn’t supposed to be a role model, the film’s label-flashing does tap into the audience’s aspirational side. The products look so tempting.

Positive role models & representations

Queen Latifah’s character is so principled she’s almost saintly. It is admirable how comfortable she is in her own skin. Her friend, Morgan, on the other hand, believes her happiness lies in becoming the wife of a rich athlete with enough money to lead a decadent life. There’s no mean bone in her body, but she is calculating. And though Scott is drawn like a too-obvious Prince Charming -- a Joni Mitchell-loving, jazz piano-playing NBA point guard -- he at least adds complexity to the jock archetype.


Loud arguments between couples.


Some kissing; a couple is seen under covers in bed the morning after. A woman talks a lot about snagging a pro athlete boyfriend.


One instance of “bulls--t.” Several instances of "Oh my God."


Throughout the film, one character shops till she drops -- she name-drops constantly (Domenico Vacca, for instance) -- and is always depicted toting around shopping bags. A fair amount of label-flashing in the rest of the film, too: New Jersey Nets, Izod Stadium, Mustang.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Drinking at parties and at restaurants.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this romantic comedy contains little that’s potentially worrisome to parents, except perhaps a storyline that explores how some women set their sights on becoming involved with pro athletes and set themselves up for a life of comfort. The subject’s played for laughs, but it’s elevated and mocked at the same time. The movie willingly stays within the formulaic confines of the genre (including the idea that successful women are incomplete without a man), never once pushing its boundaries. Not that Queen Latifah’s legions of fans, which include plenty of teens, would care; she’s in nearly every frame and is as affable as ever. There’s a little cussing and some drinking in social situations (usually wine), but not much more than that.

User Reviews

Adult Written byjoshua martinez October 12, 2010
Just Wright is a great romance movie that's good for your young teens but this movie has some passionate kissing and a couple is seen under covers in bed t... Continue reading
Parent of a 12 year old Written bycrankylibrarian January 3, 2014

A terrific "anti-Cinderella" story, especially for African American women.

Leslie Wright is a "big girl", dark skinned, and more comfortable in sweats and scrubs than minidresses and heels. Her godsister Morgan has Black Amer... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 26, 2010
Just Wright Was So Good Is So Fine Watch For 11 Years Old
Kid, 12 years old September 18, 2010

What's the story?

Physical therapist and diehard New Jersey Nets fan Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) can’t quite seem to get her love life right, even if everything else has fallen into place. She’s memorable, kind and charming, and beautiful, to boot, but guys always seem to relegate her to “friend” status. Her childhood pal, Morgan (Paula Patton), however, has no problem reeling in any suitor, largely because she’s drop-dead gorgeous and methodical in her pursuit of the perfect guy. Perfect in this case is Scott McKnight (rapper-turned actor Common), the Nets’ marquee ball player who befriends Leslie and falls for Morgan. When he’s injured, with his NBA career at risk, Leslie comes to his rescue, helping him rehabilitate his knee; rediscover his confidence; and re-affirm his passion for the game. But can they take their relationship to the next level?

Is it any good?

Queen Latifah is talented -- of this we are all certain by now -- but JUST WRIGHT should be renamed “Just So-So.” It’s entertaining in parts; even appealing in others. And the chemistry between Latifah and Common is somewhat authentic. But the Queen should be able to deliver more than OK. She’s a powerhouse, but her strengths are muted by a traditional frame that’s simply too constricting. Though there are some twists and turns in the plot, we are left unruffled by them because we know there’s no danger that things won’t turn out right. It’s that predictable. Plus, the story panders to the belief that successful women aren’t complete without a boyfriend.

That said, director Sanaa Hamri does an excellent job framing the on-court action. Either Common really is an NBA-potential athlete or Hamri’s great at directing basketball scenes. The storyline’s plenty timely -- pro athletes and their romantic adventures fascinate these days -- and that’s a plus. And the supporting cast, which includes Patton and Phylicia Rashad, is impressive. Still, JUST WRIGHT is no starter; as it is, it plays like a bench-warmer, and that’s just not right.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the character Leslie: Is she typical of female leads in romantic comedies? Why is it unusual to see women bigger than a size 2 in romantic comedies? Why are so many women in romantic comedies portrayed as if they’re incomplete without a boyfriend? Does this movie do anything to shake up the norm in romcoms?

  • Are there really women -- and men, too -- who pursue celebrities and athletes because it’ll pave the way for an easier life? Will it? In the film, does social-climbing Morgan seem sympathetic despite her goals? Why?

  • Why is it that in movies, superstar athletes are expected to be one-dimensional, caring only about their sport and bedding women? Why does this stereotype persist? Does this film shatter any of that?

Movie details

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