Love and Basketball Movie Poster Image

Love and Basketball



Good romance, but strong sexuality for a PG-13.
Parents recommend
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 124 minutes

What parents need to know

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.


Some scuffles, parent slaps adult child, plus Monica is often fouled on the basketball court for displays of temper.


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.


Some strong language.



Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, including drinking to drown sorrow.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that 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 -- but refreshingly it includes the obvious use of a condom. A character gets drunk when she finds out that her husband has been unfaithful.

What's the story?

Divided into quarters like a real basketball game, LOVE & BASKETBALL shows two basketball-obsessed kids, Monica and Quincy, 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 percent about basketball and 80 percent about love and you end up cheering the leads on for about 90 percent 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 as Monica and Omar Epps as Quincy.

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?"

Families can talk 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 of them was not basketball but friendship.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 14, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:October 10, 2000
Cast:Alfre Woodard, Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan
Director:Gina Prince-Bythewood
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Sports and martial arts
Run time:124 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language, sexual references, and sexual situations

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Parent of a 12 year old Written bycrankylibrarian January 31, 2014

The rare sports movie from an African AMerican girl's point of view

Just watched "Love and Basketball" with my 13 year old and it's a new favorite, both for taking the viewpoint of a smart, strong, but conflicted young woman, and for presenting a non-stereotyped relationship between two young African Americans, (both from well-off, intact families, with loving parents and siblings; both college educated). Monica and Quincy meet as 11 year olds when her family moves next door to his, and she promptly beats him in a basketball game. They grow into highly competitive players with an affectionate brother/sister relationship; one of the most touching scenes is Monica wordlessly letting Quincy climb into her room to sleep when his parents are having an argument. Both are recruited to play college ball at UCS and they become lovers (in a very passionate, yet chastely filmed scene).The contrast between how men's vs women's sports are treated is made very clear: Quincy is constantly surrounded by adoring fans and weaselly recruiters; Monica feels unjustly punished for an aggressive "attitude" that would be celebrated in a man but makes her seem "unladylike". The night before Monica's key game, she refuses to break curfew for Quincy, fearing she might get cut from the team. Quincy, going through a crisis with his father, declares her to be "unsupportive", and breaks up with her. They eventually reunite years later, and in the final scene it is Monica on the court with the WNBA while her adoring husband and baby daughter cheer her on from the sidelines. So, awesome sports movie primarily from the woman's point of view, and where her ambition is the one realized. Also, a terrific mother/daughter film: Monica feels constantly criticized by her traditionally feminine mother, who seems to prefer her more "girly" sister. Mother and daughter have it out late in the film: the mother (played by the wonderful Alfre Woodard) resents Monica's condescension towards her as a housewife, and Monica is hurt that her mother never cared about her talent for sports. The film doesn't take sides, but empathizes with both women. A few concerns: there is a lot of raw language, and the teen girls at M and Q's school dress very seductively and do a lot of dirty dancing, (Monica does not, which is one of the reasons we like her). No violence, no drugs, minimal drinking. Monica and Quincy have sex, but there is no promiscuous, gratuitous sex, and it's clear the two of them love each other. Great for 13 and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
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 appearance fifteen years ago. Till this day this classic love story it will never get old. This film was written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. 40 Aces, and Mule film works produced Love and Basketball in the year 2000. The major actors who starred in this film are Sanaa Lathan, and Omar Epps. Their performance throughout the whole movie was simply impeccable. A love story that any person growing up can relate to. The storyline was great and very much believable, almost like you forgot you were watching a film. In chronological order this film shows the first day a preteen girl named Monica Wright played by Sanaa Lathan and her family moving to her new home in a Los Angeles, California neighborhood in 1981. Her family is quickly acquainted with her neighbor Quincy McCall and his family; Quincy is played by Omar Epps. The two quickly develop a love hate relationship from the day they first meet. Monica and Quincy relationship goes through the motions like any one else throughout the years. Quincy and Monica both shared a passionate love for basketball in high school keeping them focusing on one thing, going to college and hopefully ending up playing pro-Ball one day. Growing up they attend the same middle school and high school. One night after prom their senior year in high school their romance blossoms. The two stay together for a while and attend the same college but they separate while in college Quincy goes through a difficult time with his father. Monica and Quincy break up and years later a tragedy brings them together once again. Although Quincy has moved on and is in a new relationship, Monica still feels the same for him and is destined to fight for his love. When I first watched the movie Love and Basketball I was a young girl around the age of thirteen and I was immediately drawn to the love story. Although, I didn’t see it in theater because I was young way too young when it came out in the year 2000, I watched it years later. To me watching it in the comfort of my own home was just as good as watching it in the movie theater. This just goes to show that even though it’s an old movie the quality of the film was still great and it doesn’t look like it was produced many years ago. This film is often played on television networks such as BET. The dialect used in the movie has always been understandable and relatable. Now that I’m older can more grasp the concept of the whole film I can more understand some scenes that I probably didn’t understand when I was younger. Since I’m older and more mature I can see how difficult it may be to be with someone you want to be with but cant because of various reasons. I also understand the fighting for what you want and the concept of the quote “ If you love something let it go and if it comes back then you know” I think that quote basically fits the moral of the film. When I think about this film I just automatically think about love and how much one can love another person, it shows me that true love never dies. This classic love story just has the perfect old school touch. The sound track in this film went perfectly with each scene. Just listening to it simply takes people back to those times in the 1990’s even watching it today and who doesn’t love a good flashback? It just seems like the director couldn’t have chosen better songs to fit each scene. Most of the actors in the film were African American. Race did play a big role in the film because it contributed to the culture and concept of the movie. The music, the clothes, hairstyles, and the language for example, slang and old terms that were used in those times were common in the African American community. In the movie through gender the film showed that not only men could be successful in sports, and especially in a male dominated field. Everything about this movie was well put together. The actors did and amazing job, the whole script just came natural to them not just Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps but all the other actors as well. Every scene was nicely depicted with appropriate songs, not to mention this movie had one the best sound tracks I’ve ever heard in movie. The ending was suspenseful and surprising. This film didn’t have one dull moment from start to finish, it is a must see and I would recommend this film to any one any day.
What other families should know
Great messages
Educator and Parent Written bylindiw December 15, 2014

Excellent, little-seen PoV

I'm surprised by the tepid ratings when there are so many great parent and teen reviews of this movie. Gina Prince-Bythewood has crafted a moving and powerful message about staying true to oneself in the face of peer and parental pressure. I love that the protagonists are from solid and loving Black families. The movie has nothing to do with drugs, Jim Crow or slavery, and there aren't many white people -- that in itself must be quite refreshing for families of color in this day and age. As others have mentioned, there is one sex scene (with a condom, yay) with no nudity showing, but given the context of a loving and respectful relationship it seems authentic and appropriate. Monica is a great role model because she has to fight for everything; Quincy has so much handed to him that when he has to struggle, it's really hard and he flounders. And then he gets back up -- that's another great message. I highly recommend this movie to all families of teenagers.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models