Love and Basketball
Entertainment: +2 1/2
Acceptability: -2

Two affluent black families are featured in this romantic, contemporary sports drama. After the Wright family moves into an upscale neighborhood next door to the McCall family, eleven year old Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) beats her new young neighbor, Quincy McCall (Omar Epps), in a friendly game of basketball. But Quincy asks Monica to be his girlfriend anyway. Thus begins a troubled romance which follows the young couple through high school, college and professional basketball careers. The first serious threat to their romance occurs at USC where both are on the colleges basketball teams. Disappointed in Monicas consuming devotion to basketball, Quincy develops an interest in other girls. So they go their separate ways, but are reunited years later when Monica visits Quincy in the hospital after his injury in a game. However, they still face serious obstacles in their relationship. Audiences will likely find this story of a young couple and their lifes adventures appealing. And its helped along by believable acting and a number of exciting basketball sequences.

Both the Wrights and McCalls are loving families with parents who teach their children good manners and encourage them to excel. And in spite of their disagreements, Monica and Quincy show love and respect for each other. However, they become involved sexually the night of their high school prom in a fairly graphically depicted sexual encounter. The story implies that their sexual relationship continues throughout college and is portrayed as quite normal and acceptable. Refreshingly, the dialogue does not suffer from the incessant barrage of foul language so prevalent in films featuring predominantly black characters. But Quincy, Monica and others do speak a number of mild and moderate crudities, obscenities and strong profanities. And Quincys father becomes involved in an extra-marital affair, but comes to regret it. The film producers deserve credit for developing an enjoyable story around two fairly genteel, caring and successful black families. Sadly, the condoned pre-marital sexual relationship and foul language spoil LOVE AND BASKETBALL.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: New Line Cinema Corp., 888 7th Ave., 20th Flr., NY, NY 10106

Crude Language: Many (31) times - Mild 10, moderate 21
Obscene Language: Many (12) times - F word 1, s word 8, other 3
Profanity: Few (2) times - Regular (GD)
Violence: Few times - Moderate (Boy and girl tussle, woman slaps daughter, girl knocked to ground)
Sexual Intercourse: Once - moderately explicit (man and woman on bed, no nudity); Implied - few times (intimate scenes and conversations)
Nudity: None; Near nudity - several times (girls in low cut dresses)
Homosexual Conduct: Girl makes comical remark about being lesbian
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Many times Moderate (woman makes crude remark about mans rear, suggestive dancing, man/woman kiss passionately, man/woman undress before sex - no nudity shown, man/woman play strip basketball, references to sex and male genitals, sexual quips)
Drug Abuse: Few times - drinking in bar, restaurant and home - no drunkenness
Other: Loving family relationships, woman suggests sex to man, blacks make comical remarks about blacks, man admits affair
Running Time: 118 minutes
Intended Audience: 12 years and up

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