Featuring one of the most unexpected romantic pairings this spring movie season, 'Just Wright' tells the fictional story of NBA All-Star Scott McKnight (Common), a big-time player who suffers a crippling injury. A no-nonsense physical therapist, played by Queen Latifah, helps him get back on his feet and falls in love with him during the rehabilitation process. Fortunately, the feeling might be mutual.

In her third directorial effort, Sanaa Hamri has crafted a well-intentioned but cliched romantic comedy about the pratfalls that plague a working relationship that turns into something more. The critics mostly agree that there is not one original idea in this rehashed love-fest. They do point out, though, that Queen Latifah is a breath of fresh air, proving once again she radiates a sweetly effervescent presence on-screen. Paula Patton, Phylicia Rashad and Pam Grier also star.

Read what the critics have to say. Featuring one of the most unexpected romantic pairings this spring movie season, 'Just Wright' tells the fictional story of NBA All-Star Scott McKnight (Common), a big-time player who suffers a crippling injury. A no-nonsense physical therapist, played by Queen Latifah, helps him get back on his feet and falls in love with him during the rehabilitation process. Fortunately, the feeling might be mutual.

In her third directorial effort, Sanaa Hamri has crafted a well-intentioned but cliched romantic comedy about the pratfalls that plague a working relationship that turns into something more. The critics mostly agree that there is not one original idea in this rehashed love-fest. They do point out, though, that Queen Latifah is a breath of fresh air, proving once again she radiates a sweetly effervescent presence on-screen. Paula Patton, Phylicia Rashad and Pam Grier also star.

Here is what the critics have to say.

The Hollywood Reporter
: "To put it simply, 'Just Wright' is your basic Cinderella story set against a pro basketball backdrop. The essential problem with this bland Queen Latifah romantic comedy is that it's content to keep it simple. There's nothing in the strictly by-the-numbers plotting, ho-hum pacing or stock characterizations that would allow it to ever truly come to life. That it squanders a terrific cast in the process -- one that also includes Common, Phylicia Rashad and Pam Grier -- makes it all the more disappointing. Being released, curiously, one weekend after a logical Mother's Day target date, it will have to count on drawing the Tyler Perry crowd, but it unlikely will generate Perry numbers."

Time Out New York
: "Although it's replete with solid supporting players and even stronger goodwill, 'Just Wright' buckles under the burden of its pure intentions. Too many auxiliary, moralizing plot points and characters are picked up, only to be suddenly dropped. (As the resident moms, Pam 'Coffy' Grier and 'Cosby Show' star Phylicia Rashad are criminally underused.) Common proves surprisingly convincing as a hoops dynamo, though less so when trying to rustle up sexual chemistry with Queen Latifah; their one love scene is notably -- and mercifully -- short. But the real pain is in watching the always-likable Queen stuck in a homegirl version of a 'Cathy' comic."

Slant Magazine: "Go ahead, allow yourself a groan of bored recognition, since Sanaa Hamri's film is conventional to its core. Latifah tones down her sassy routine just enough to keep Leslie's tomboyishness from being grating, and Common, albeit hardly a versatile actor, delivers enough suave cool to prevent the proceedings from drowning in schmaltz. Yet 'Just Wright''s adequate performances don't change the fact that the two stars share no chemistry, and that the story's triumph-of-the-big-girls plot is a fanciful rebuke to VH1's Basketball Wives reality show."

Village Voice: "Another movie, not as awful as this one, might one day find better use for the easygoing vibe between Queen Latifah and Common, the stars of 'Just Wright,' a romantic comedy (for the ladies) with basketball and cameoing NBA players in it (for the fellas). That absolutely no chemistry exists between them as love interests is the first of the many flaws in a film that also demands we believe the New Jersey Nets could become Eastern Conference champions."


Roger Ebert: "One reason people like Queen Latifah is that she likes herself. In most of her roles, she radiates cheer. She can play grim, as in 'Bringing Out the Dead,' but she has a natural sunniness that makes me, at least, feel good. And she is a real woman, not a skinny woman with too many sharp angles. Jennifer Aniston, who looks perfectly great, makes me worry about her self-image when she talks about the baby food diet. Latifah has never been fat. She has always been plus-size. There is a difference. She is healthy, fit, carries herself with confidence, and looks terrific in 'Just Wright' in the kind of clothing a physical therapist might feel comfortable wearing. If you're dragging around feeling low about yourself, you want to know her secret."

Entertainment Weekly
: "Don't put on airs, honor your family, pump your own gas: Tyler Perry's 'Madea' would say amen to the code by which Ms. Wright lives. The movie is a rigged game of clichés and platitudes, but fans will be pleased by additional proof that Latifah is a lovable Queen but not a pampered princess. The hoops set can enjoy some courtside action with real pro players. And 'Cosby Show' nostalgists will be happy to see Phylicia Rashad segue from playing Bill Cosby's wife to tsk-tsking as Common's mama."

Chicago Tribune: "You may not believe 'Just Wright,' but romantic comedy is about more interesting matters than plausibility or realism. How does the old song from 'Damn Yankees' go? Miles and miles and miles of heart -- that's the stuff. Add some wit, a relaxed and generous spirit, and some performers who hold the screen without holding it hostage, and there you have it."

CATEGORIES Reviews