A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
Some scuffles, parent slaps adult child. Some basketball fouls.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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"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."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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?"
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.