Love and Basketball
|New Line/Time Warner; PG-13; 118 minutes|
|Cast:||Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Dennis Haysbert|
Love and Basketball is probably as good as any movie can be that boils the black existence down to sports, careerism, and romantic relationships. Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two kids growing up in a nice part of L.A. From their preteen years on, the kids have shared a passion for basketball and each other. As college approaches, the gender divide becomes painfully evident: Quincy's family and team support him to no end, with promises of turning pro in sight. On the other hand, Monica's mother laments her daughter's lack of femininity, asserting that there is no future for women in basketball. The thrill and injury of their deep-rooted competition is explored to sexy effect.
In a world of black cinema dominated by Spike Lee (whose is brilliant filming masculinity and veers between clueless and misogynistic regarding women) and macho 'hood flicks, it is difficult, if not impossible to find a black woman with depth. Thus, Sanaa Lathan's accomplished portrayal of Monica stands out even greater.