Spike Lee takes the Producer’s Chair in this warm story of 2 Black kids from prosperous families who bond on their upscale neighborhood court. Film spans a dozen years as they mature into young adults.
Love & Basketball stars Sanaa Lathan (a real find!) & Omar Epps. With excellent support from all 4 parents (especially Alfre Woodard as Monica’s mother).
Highly Recommended by BOTH of us!
From my 2004 column for The Woman’s Papers called Women Filmmakers, Women Athletes:
Four years ago, first-time filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood cast beautiful Sanaa Lathan as Monica Wright in LOVE & BASKETBALL. Monica is a suburban girl from a prosperous African-American family who wants to join the driveway pick-up games. But the boys all mock her until her new neighbor Quincy McCall (Omar Epps) recognizes that her athletic skill and passion for the game are comparable to his own.
Lathan captures all of Monica’s tangled emotions as she grows into womanhood: pride and determination one moment, and confusion and yearning the next. How can she be an “aggressive” ballplayer on the court, then “feminine” enough for the post-game party? What are the rules for a girl like her? Just when you think there’s no way they can make it all work, Monica and Quincy find a way.
Top Photo: Sanaa Lathan as “Monica.”
Middle Photo: Lathan with Omar Epps as “Quincy.”
Bottom Photo: Lathan on set with filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood.
Photo Credits: New Line Productions, Inc.