by Shelby Jones
New Line Cinema presents a Forty Acres & A Mule Production
Written & Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
Produced By Spike Lee
Starring Omar Epps & Sanaa Lathan
On playgrounds throughout the world, little boys, and girls
dream of being the next Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson or Chamique
Holdsclaw. A few dream of being like Dennis Rodman but we will put
that thought on hold for now. In Los Angeles during the early
eighties, there was no Jordan phenomenon – it was all about Magic.
Look-away passes, sweet-set-jumper and a squad to run the floor
with that could not be stopped. In Gina Price-Bythewood’s
directorial debut, she takes us into the world of Quincy McCall
(Epps) and Monica Wright. (Lathan).
Delivering the synopsis for this wonderful film is not fair. I
think you should enter this game with your eyes WIDE OPEN. Listed
below are several clues that will give some sort of picture to paint.
But remember, all’s fair in Love & Basketball, right?
- Remember falling in love for the first time?
- Remember the 80’s?
- Remember high school basketball games?
- Remember the first person that broke your heart?
- Remember the first time you….
- Remember waiting for your college acceptance letters?
- Remember how times moves so fast?
- Remember how your parents always got on your last
Now, mix those images together and your synopsis will be borne.
**Omar Epps as Quincy McCall – Keeps getting better. Handled
the rock pretty well.
**Sanaa Lathan as Monica Wright – She is my new favorite black
hands down! She dunked this role and should see many new roles
thrown her way
because of it.
**Alfre Woodard as Camille Wright – An absolutely Pro.
Dennis Haysbert as Zeke McCall – Solid performance.
Debby Morgan as Nona McCall – This could springboard her
theatrical release opportunities.
This film is special. Basketball films have been entertaining
us for years. There was Hoosiers, He Got Game, Above The
Rim and many more, but rarely have we seen a film that
investigates the lives of African-American teenagers from the burbs
who’ve got game just like the kids from the streets. Just like
The Wood and The Best Man, it delivered truly
refreshing images of African-Americans. The surprising strength of
this film is the way it passionately deals with family life when
the teenagers are jocks. Every parent with an athlete
to raise should see this film with their child. It will
undoubtedly deliver some down home truths about the problems both
of you have or are experiencing. Bravo to Gina Prince-Bythewood
for taking this one to the hole and scoring – uncontested!