Making the Grades
Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) is a nice, full figured girl who always finishes last, especially with men. A physiotherapist, she lives in the shadow of her roommate and childhood friend Morgan (Paula Patton), a petite girl who is able to light up a room with her good looks and charm.
But fate intervenes one evening when Leslie happens upon NY Nets basketball star Scott McKnight (Common) at a gas station. The “meet cute” gets her an invite to the celebrity’s birthday bash. When she invites Morgan to come with her, the husband-hunting girl excitedly tags along. Of course, the inevitable happens and soon Scott and Morgan are happily engaged whiled Leslie is left on the sidelines.
All seems a happily-ever-after tale until the famous b-baller gets hurt during an All Star game. The serious knee injury will bench Scott during the playoffs and if things don’t heal well, it could mean the end of his professional career. The only hope is serious physiotherapy and Morgan insists that Leslie is the right woman for the job. (It also helps that Leslie doesn’t look like the sexy little blonde therapist the team has sent over to Scott’s home.) Still, even with hard work, the stubborn injury persists. When the media begins rumoring Scott’s days on the court may have come to an end, Morgan reveals her true intentions and selfishly admits being married to a has-been isn’t in her plans.
Of course this leaves things wide open for Leslie, who has taken a leave of absence from her regular job so she can be a resident therapist in the mansion with Scott and his mother (Phylicia Rashad). Although we have a good idea of how things will work out in the end, screenwriter Michael Elliot knows how to pace a romance and offers these characters an adequate amount of time to get to know each other and build some real chemistry between them.
Possible concerns for parents include seeing a couple in bed (bare backs and shoulders are seen), implied sexual activity and a mild moment of innuendo. Language consists of a scatological term and a handful of mild profanities, however terms of deity are frequently heard.
A sweet love story that focuses on our protagonist’s enduring love and concern for a man she doesn’t feel she’s good enough for, Just Wright offers an excellent message about the most important qualities of a relationship. Unfortunately characters still put sex before marriage, yet Scott’s recovery, Leslie’s sacrifice and Morgan’s development are the real substance of the story. And that could make this choice just right for someone in your family who is yearning for a romantic night at the movies.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Just Wright.
What is the unspoken, but obvious reason men see Leslie as a buddy rather than a possible girlfriend? What is it Morgan has that makes her dates overlook her personality flaws?
Leslie’s claims that she "ain’t no salad eating girl," while Morgan confesses she never eats in public. How do these statements sum up the image each woman presents? Although Leslie often seems self-conscious and Morgan usually appears confident, which of the two of them do you think is really the most comfortable in her own skin?
Why does Leslie say nothing when Morgan walks away with the man she’s in love with? Is she being a victim or a true friend? If you were in her shoes, what would you do?
Home Video Viewing Alternatives
Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to Just Wright.
Queen Latifah can also be seen in Last Holiday (playing another ugly duckling character) and in the role of mentor in The Secret Life of Bees. The sport of basketball is a backdrop for the movies Like Mike, Rebound and Hoosiers.