Love & Basketball
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young girl, (Sanaa Lathan) moves into a new neighborhood, only to meet a feisty next door boy (Omar Epps) who shares her passion for basketball. We see as they move from grade school to college, becoming both lovers and friends, together chasing their dreams of playing professional basketball.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie really didn't do it for me. I'd like to say that the blend of romance, drama and sports action worked well but it ultimately fell flat. The story showed promise but seems to unwind midway through the movie, suffering from a severe case of predictability. I didn't care much for the Epps/father sub-plot or the mediocre acting of the actor who played the dad. The first time director certainly didn't shy away from all the usual cliches, using the slow motion action shots with a hip hop score serenading the backdrop. Still, Lathan does give a great, inspired performance as the girl who refuses to take no for an answer with an undying desire to succeed. The two main characters agreement to decide the future of their relationship over a game of one on one was to put it bluntly, moronic. It reeked of sappiness and resorted to more slow motion cheese. The ending (No, I won't give it away) was far fetched and seemed to be eager to send the audience home happy and wrapped everything up real fast. A little too convenient for my tastes. I've seen better romantic yarns and certainly better basketball movies.
They didn't skimp in the extras department, believe me. They've included 7 deleted scenes which feature individual commentary tracks. The scenes were obviously cut for length and just offer a little more detail into the character's development. There's 2 minute blooper reel which isn't really that funny, surprisingly. One added feature is the option of viewing audition tapes of the stars compared to the actual film version of their scenes. Animated storyboards are also included which seemed a bit unnecessary. You usually expect storyboards and pre-production art to explain a fancy special effect piece, not a regular shot of two actors. Weird. Lucy Pearl's music video for "Dance Tonight" and the original theatrical trailer have also been thrown in. A 36 minute documentary, "Breaking the Glass Ceiling", serves as an expose and tribute to numerous women who ultimately strived to earn successful careers in politics and sports. While not crucial to the movie, it's a nice extra which presents several inspiring stories. The menus are animated and feature clips from the movie.
This DVD is basically a mediocre movie coupled with a huge excess of bonus features that were kind of disappointing. The deleted scenes were brief and the storyboards simply weren't necessary. Quality seems to have been compromised for quantity. My advice to you, forget this movie, rent HOOP DREAMS and WHITE MEN CAN'T JUMP and call me in the morning!