Love and Basketball

  • Review Date: May 4, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2000

Common Sense Media says

Good romance, but strong sexuality for a PG-13.
  • Review Date: May 4, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2000





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.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

\ Divided into quarters like a real basketball game, LOVE & BASKETBALL shows two basketball-obsessed kids, Monica and Quincy, make friends on the court at age 11, play basketball in the same high school, then the same college, and 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 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 release date:October 10, 2000
Cast:Alfre Woodard, Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan
Director:Gina Prince-Bythewood
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Sports and martial arts
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language, sexual references, and sexual situations

This review of Love and Basketball was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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
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
Parent Written byrichyy December 22, 2011

Richyy !

I Think Love &amp; Basketball is a great movie for young couples that are in love. It show’s how a young couple fall in love in high school. I love the whole film and there were no boring parts...even when I watch it every night. There is just enough of both Love and Basketball scene. Now, their commitment to the sport will force them to make a choice between each other and the game, between family, and between Love and Basketball. Love and Basketball is a complex acclaimed movie about discovering your dreams, taking your best shot and making them come true.
What other families should know
Great messages


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide