Leslie Wright is a physical therapist who is great at her job, but unlucky in love. Most of the men she’s tried to date decide she’s more of a “homegirl” than a girlfriend. It doesn’t help that her best friend Morgan is drop-dead gorgeous, the kind of woman destined for a great love story. Morgan’s goal in life is to marry an athlete and be taken care of, while Leslie is mostly content with her job and working on her new fixer-upper with her father. One night, she runs into Scott McKnight, a basketball player for the New Jersey Nets. The two hit it off and he invites Leslie to his lavish birthday party. Thrilled, Leslie accepts. Thinking it’s the perfect place to meet a husband, Morgan accompanies Leslie to Scott’s house, where the two are introduced by Leslie. Scott is immediately attracted to Morgan and the two begin a rather whirlwind romance.
When a knee injury threatens Scott’s career, Morgan leaves him, and Leslie steps in to rehabilitate Scotty’s knee in order to get back to doing what he loves the most, playing basketball.
Just Wright was one of those movies that I remember watching in the theater when it was released, though I couldn’t recall much else about it. I’m glad I rewatched it for the blog because I found it to be really delightful. Queen Latifah is such a pleasure to watch in everything she does and she plays Leslie with so much strength and humor that it’s really hard to take your eyes off of her when she’s on-screen. She has the right kind of presence needed to be a leading lady and honestly, I would love to see her in more romantic comedies like this one. I enjoyed her chemistry with Common as well. For having started out as a rapper, I have to say he’s become a pretty decent actor. I loved his scenes with Queen Latifah and especially with Phylicia Rashad, who plays his mother.
Honestly, it’s nice to have a rom-com where the plus-sized best friend gets to be the leading lady. Leslie is confident and she’s comfortable in her own skin even as she’s accustomed to always fading into the background whenever Morgan (Paula Patton) enters the room. She has to deal with this not only with men, like Scott, but her own mother, who wishes Leslie were more like Morgan so she could “catch a husband”. Leslie never comes across as bitter because of this. If anything, she’s supportive and encouraging of Morgan’s “snag myself a rich man” life goal. At least until it ends up hurting Scott.
Director Sanaa Hamri does a really nice job creating an actual story here instead of rushing into Scott and Leslie’s blossoming relationship. There is actual character development and we do get to see Scott and Morgan grow as a couple, which I think creates some pretty legit conflict when Leslie and Scott begin to fall for each other. Since this is a romantic comedy, we know where it’s going to lead, but the nice thing is, it’s still a really entertaining, romantic journey. There are also some cameos from various NBA stars, including Dwight Howard, who may not become an athlete turned actor, but it’s clear he’s having a lot of fun, which is a bonus.
With just the Wright (ha!) amount of fluff and angst, I would definitely recommend Just Wright, especially if you’re a fan of sports-themed rom-coms.