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Love and Basketball

Release Date: 
Star Rating: 
6 out of 10
Not nearly as sappy as title and trailer might suggest, Love and Basketball is a successful fusion of sports with girl-meets-boy. The movie throws up a few bricks along the way, but overall it’s a game worth watching. Omar Epps and startlingly sexy Sanaa Lathan play a pair of next-door neighbors who grow up together, sharing a love of roundball and each other. The son of an NBA player, Epps’s character rides the wave of his on-court talent, as Lathan’s character struggles to become the first female NBA player. The story is told in four “quarters,” each detailing the peaks and valleys of Epps and Lathan’s loves, dreams, and rivalries. Their on-screen struggle rings of truth and not splashy Hollywood invention.

With clever dialogue, an appropriate hip-hop soundtrack, and stand-out performances from Lathan and Epps, Love and Basketball entertains without being weepy or fake.