Making the Grades
Taking off his clothes in a fit of rage during a major televised game was reason alone to have Jamal Jeffries (Miguel A. N0xFA0xF1ez Jr.) banned from playing basketball anymore. His huge house, stable of cars, and penchant for throwing wild and expensive parties were a direct result of the boastful athlete's belief that he was basketball's greatest gift. Now faced with bankruptcy and a true desire to play the game he loves, the desperate Jamal comes up with an idea that even his scheming agent couldn't match: Dress as a woman and join the female league.
Sporting a whole new doo, a few other essential body parts, and the moniker of Juwanna Mann, Jamal easily impresses the coach of the local women's team. But joining the fairer sex presents an even greater hurdle as he/she tries to bench his/her grandstanding style and learn to work with the other players. Off the court, Jamal finds himself increasingly attracted to "fellow" teammate Michelle (Vivica A. Fox), with whom he must frequently share hotel rooms. Besides an impending romance and an opportunity to take the girls' team to victory, Jamal is faced with the difficult decision of seizes a chance to return to the male league or continuing his deception.
The cross-dressing theme of this movie provides the main source of humor, especially as Jamal enjoys the intimate access he has with the female players. Fortunately he decides to wear his uniform in the showers--claiming it's a superstitious tradition after winning a game-and the rest of the girls soon follow suit. But while parents will be thankful for the clothing coverage in the locker room, they may feel a penalty is in order due to the league of profanities (including sexual expletives), near-constant innuendo, and crass humor throughout the script.
Aside from Jamal's ridiculous antics and often-unbelievable ploy, the film offers a positive message about selfishness and provides insight on how men approach women. Yet the many content fouls might leave you banning Juwanna Mann from playing in your family.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Juwanna Mann.
What incident causes Jamal has a sudden change of heart toward his teammates? How does his new attitude help him to treat others more kindly, and to teach the girls to improve their basketball skills? Do you think it’s possible to have a selfish attitude and still work together as a team?
What does this movie say about gender roles? Are the serious attempts to create empathy for woman undermined by Jamal’s (and other male characters’) rude comments and sexual innuendo?
If some of the events depicted in this movie were to really happen, how do you think the situation would be handled? How do you think professional sports sponsors would react? What might the team’s future be?