Love and Basketball

Movie review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
Love and Basketball Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Romance and sports mix; some strong language and sex.
  • PG-13
  • 2000
  • 124 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Monica faces sexist behavior and attitudes from those closest to her as she proves basketball is just as important to her as it is to male players. Quincy's dad is an abandoning, philandering father figure and Quincy works hard throughout the film not to turn out like him. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

As a female basketball player, Monica faces sexism and double standards both on and off the court, but proves herself a champion through determination, love for the game. For all his faults, Quincy's father encourages Quincy to choose graduating from college over turning pro before graduating. Quincy refuses to be like his philandering basketball star father. 


Some scuffles, parent slaps adult child. Some basketball fouls.


Fairly explicit sexual references and situations. Quincy's father is unfaithful; women fall all over Quincy and explicitly ask to sleep with him. As high schoolers, Quincy and Monica have sex -- a condom is prominent in that scene. A game of strip basketball in a dorm room shows underwear only. Brief nudity: male buttocks. As a child, Quincy overhears his parents having sex in the other room. 


"F--kin'" used once. "S--t," "bulls--t," "damn," "bitch," "t-tties," "ass," "goddamn." Some sexual references, such as "coochie," "bone," "get with you," "stick your thing in anything." 


Domino's Pizza box in one scene. Miller Genuine Draft is the beer of choice in a bar. NBA, WNBA, USC.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking at a college party; one of the lead characters is drunk and surly. In another scene, the mother of one of the lead characters is drunk, drowning her sorrows on the back patio of her house. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Love & Basketball is a 2000 coming-of-age romance that follows a relationship between childhood neighbors through the ups and downs of their lives on and off the court. This movie has strong sexuality for a PG-13, including descriptions of some sexually aggressive women, a strip basketball game, and a scene of Monica and Quincy having sex that has no nudity but is fairly explicit -- and includes the obvious use of a condom. A character gets drunk when she finds out that her husband has been unfaithful. Quincy is drunk and surly at a college party where there's a lot of drinking. Profanity is regularly used, including "f--kin'" (used once). Other language includes "s--t," "bulls--t," "damn," "bitch," "t-tties," "ass," "goddamn." Some sexual references are heard, such as "coochie," "bone," "get with you," "stick your thing in anything." The movie also explores issues of sexism in sports, and the double standards in how aggressive play from men is treated differently from aggressive play from women. It also explores the pressures that talented collegiate athletes face: whether to stay in college and earn a degree or turn pro in the hopes of making a large salary. The not-so-glamorous realities of professional basketball players who aren't playing on the NBA circuit is also shown. For families with aspiring athletes, these are all issues in the movie worth discussing. 


User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDusty Fortyfives B. May 17, 2018
Adult Written bymalecias May 5, 2015

Love and Basketball

Love and Basketball Film Review

Love and Basketball has been loved and adored by many people of all ethnicities old and young since it made its first appearanc... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byteniaaa__ March 3, 2019
Teen, 13 years old Written byMya12345678 March 7, 2011

What's the story?

Divided into quarters like a real basketball game, LOVE & BASKETBALL shows two basketball-obsessed kids, Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps), as they make friends on the court at age 11, play basketball in the same high school, then at the same college, and then go pro. As they deal with unfaithful, dishonest, and unsupportive parents; demanding coaches; hostile teammates; and the temptation of recruiters; their friendship blossoms into love, then hate, and back again.

Is it any good?

Funny how this likable movie is 20% about basketball and 80% about love, and you end up cheering the leads on for about 90% of it. You want these two rather stubborn and talented basketball players to realize they're meant for each other even more than you want them to win the big games or get the big sports scholarships. The chemistry is great between Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps.

If you're into the romance enough, you'll probably be forgiving as the pair face some standard-issue family conflicts and the old dating double standard: Quincy always seems to have a girl on his arm when Monica isn't around, and Monica stays true throughout the movie. But the characters experience plenty of positive growth, especially when Quincy confronts his philandering father, saying, "How come you couldn't be the man you kept trying to make me?"

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how people reconcile the demands of love, family, and career, and why it is that Monica and Quincy had so much trouble telling each other how they felt. Teens may also want to talk about the different views Monica and Quincy had of their relationship at different ages, and how the key element linking them through all was not basketball but friendship.

  • How does the movie explore some of the double standards of sexism in sport? 

  • Besides the central story, what are some of the other themes the movie explores? For instance, how does the movie show the lives of professional basketball players who haven't made it to the NBA/WNBA elite? Or the choice gifted collegiate athletes must make between graduating from college or turning pro before earning a degree?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romances

Themes & Topics

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