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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
Loud arguments between couples.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing; a couple is seen under covers in bed the morning after. A woman talks a lot about snagging a pro athlete boyfriend.
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One instance of “bulls--t.” Several instances of "Oh my God."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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Our Editors Recommend
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