Sometimes you just want a playful distraction; and one can be found with "Just Wright". Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) is the girl all the men love to be around. Just not in the way she would prefer - romantically. She may be cursed by her "homie" status but it does not stop her from believing that love is possible with the right person and this is what makes her an incredibly wonderful character to get behind and root for. She refuses to be anyone but herself and shrugs off every negative comment that may come her way as to her appearance or mannerisms with men. When she finds herself treating the recently injured basketball star, Scott McKnight (Common), who just happens to be engaged to a close family friend, well, she takes it in stride even as her feelings for him grow. She has class, intelligence, talent, and the ability to be a best friend like no one else can. Watching McKnight realize the beauty of Leslie inside and out is all around fun.
The downside to casting a host of actors of varying levels of talent is that when you pair them on screen the more mature stand out from the more green. "Just Wright" falls prey to this unfortunate circumstance. Some of the cast members hit the mark every time and their dialogue plus timing is pitch perfect. Others stumble; not quite knowing when to take a breath or how to roll with the lead in they are given. This bumpiness does improve as the film gets going but shows itself now and again. I do not think it takes away from the overall enjoyment of the movie but it can be off-putting at times.
With a varying array of music for every taste and style the film's soundtrack keeps a beat perfectly with the action on screen. It helps to heighten emotion without overpowering the words being spoken or expression being shown by the actors. It lightens the mood when things begin to dwell on the negative and it adds that extra touch of something to scenes where getting the viewer excited or invested is of the utmost importance.
Leslie (Queen Latifah) and McKnight (Common) are simply adorable together. There connection with one another brings out a radiance in each of them. The way they smile and their face lights up when they are talking, or joking, sets off sparkles in their eyes. The somewhat awkwardness they have with each other, knowing their friendship is treasured but as the attraction grows the little moments are not so little anymore. Most importantly, it is the natural flow they carry with one another. When these two talk to each other, walk arm in arm, or simply sit on the couch, you can feel the level of comfort between them. They flow together with ease, making it all the more easy for the viewer to believe these two friends must become more than just that.
May 14, 2010