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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Just Wright

September 11th, 2010

Just Wright - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Just Wright was never expected to be a blockbuster hit, but I think it is safe to say the studio was expecting more than $21.52 million theatrically. Personally, I was expecting double that amount. So is this a case of a good film being unfairly overlooked, or was is destined to struggle at the box office.

The Movie

Before I get into the plot, I should warn readers that there are little spoilers sprinkled throughout. However, this is a romantic comedy and if you've seen more than three of these in your life, you can probably guess the major plot points without knowing anything else about the movie. And the only big twist in the description below, is also given away in the ads for the movie.

Queen Latifah stars as Leslie Wright, a physical therapist who loves her job, but who is less pleased with her love life. We see her on yet another date that ends poorly. It's not that guys don't like her, it's that they see her as someone they can hang with and watch sports, not as a girl they want to date. She's getting down on the whole dating scene because that's just who she is. Her best friend / roommate, Morgan, keeps telling her she can't show these men who you are till you've been married five years. And she should know what she's talking about, because she's been doing serious research. She has her plan to marry an NBA franchise player and she has her future planned out.

The two of them head out to a New Jersey Nets game, where Leslie gets into the game and Morgan continues to map out her future as an NBA wife. Meanwhile on the court, it's a great game with the Nets crushing the Orlando Magic with their franchise player, Scott McKnight leading the way. However, after the game, it's Leslie that meets Scott and he invites her to his upcoming birthday party. Of course she brings along Morgan, and as they are getting ready to go, her mom comes in and tells her about her mother's diamond earrings that are supposed to bring luck in finding your husband. And she thinks they will work their magic tonight, so she gives them to... Morgan.

When your own mom thinks you won't land a husband... Ouch, that has got to hurt.

However, the earrings do their work and Morgan and Scott meet, there's a spark, and shortly afterward they are engaged. It looks like Morgan has everything she's looking for, that is until Scott is injured at the All-Star game. When the first physical therapist turns out to be too sexy for Morgan's liking, she gets Leslie the job... Again, ouch. But while Leslie and Scott work well together, and she even gets along with Scott's mother, she might not be able to get Scott back into the game, as his injury is worse than they initially expected. With the prospect of his career over, Scott is no longer the "franchise NBA player" Morgan always dreamed about marrying, and she leaves him.

Depressed, Scott falls into a funk and stops his physical therapy, but Leslie is able to bust him out of it and a couple of training montages later, not only is the knee back in shape in time for the play-offs, but they've grown very close. Just when things are looking up for the two of them, Morgan swings back into the picture. Leslie leaves, but thanks to her performing miracles, every player in the league wants to hire her as their trainer.

But will Scott go back with Morgan? Or will Leslie wind up with her dream job and the man?

Like I said, if you've seen more than three of these movies, you know the answer to those questions.

Yes, it is predictable and filled with the usual clichés of the genre, but it also has Queen Latifah, who is charming enough to compensate for the lack of originality. Also, the pacing is well done and the plot moves from cliché to cliché in a way that at least feels natural. Finally, the characters themselves feel real, acting the way real people would in these situations. Too often romantic comedies have characters that have to act stupid in order to further the plot. How many times have simple misunderstandings been used to advance the story of a romantic comedy? Far too many times for me to count.

The movie isn't perfect and there are a few flaws. The chemistry between Queen Latifah and Common isn't great with the former having to career the latter a bit. Also, the number of cameos from NBA players gets to be a little much. I guess having real players has its advantages, but it feels like stunt casting.

Overall, fans of the genre in general or of Queen Latifah specifically should enjoy this movie.

The Extras

I only have the DVD to review; in fact, I have a DVD-R version of the movie, not the retail version, so comparing formats won't be possible. The extras on the DVD are rather limited with a making of featurette called The One You Can't Live Without and a featurette with Common talking about his love of basketball. The only other extras are 3 minutes of outtakes.

There are reportedly a couple Blu-ray exclusives, plus a digital copy of the movie, but right now on, it costs $10 more to get the film on High Definition, which is too much for this type of release.

The Verdict

Just Wright is a romantic comedy. That sentence can be used to describe the plot and the quality of the movie. It's worth checking out, but with with almost no extras on the DVD or the Blu-ray, it's hard to recommend purchasing over just renting. Perhaps if you are a big fan of both the genre and Queen Latifah.

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