Not Exactly Just Wright
Why the romantic comedy starring Queen Latifah and Common is an exercise in missed opportunities.
Latifah does the best that she can with the material, but as her character is written, she's St. Leslie, all beaming beneficence, just waiting for the right man to notice how perfect she is. Patton takes her one-dimensional character and goes for it, mining it for as much comedic gold as she can. ("You know I never eat in public.")
And then there's Common, poor Common. Common should be black cinema's leading man: He's got the looks, and in action flicks like Smokin' Aces and Street Kings, he's demonstrated that he's got the charisma to make the transition from music video to full-length feature. But here, none of that charisma is on display. Instead, he's wooden and dull, reciting his lines like he's rapping lyrics. And up against the pro ball players in the film-Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard, Rarshard Lewis-Common is unconvincing, looking under-sized and less than compelling. It pains me to say it, but there it is.
So Just Wright is an exercise in missed opportunities. Sure it looks good, filled with pretty people and pretty houses, all cast in a hazy gold light. And it's directed by Hamri, who with Something New, demonstrated that she knows how to handle a rom-com. But it wastes the talents of its cast, from Latifah to Phylicia Rashad to James Pickens, Jr. to Pam Grier. And there's nothing Just Wright about that.
Teresa Wiltz is The Root's senior editor. Follow her on Twitter