out of Five
Running time: 107
Romantic drama (or rom-dram) that stays watchable thanks to a charming, likeable performance from Queen Latifah, but it's also insipid, predictable, overlong and occasionally annoying.
What's it all about?
Directed by Sanaa Hamri, Just Wright stars Queen Latifah as unlucky-in-love physical therapist Leslie Wright, who's upset (but not surprised) when her wannabe-trophy-wife best friend Morgan (Paula Patton) snaffles NBA All-Star Scott McKnight (Common) from under her nose. However, when Scott is laid up with a career-threatening knee injury, Morgan gets Leslie the job as Scott's private physical therapist and it isn't long before she finds herself falling for her patient.
Queen Latifah has a hugely likeable screen persona and that's in full effect here, even if she underplays her usual brand of larger-than-life sassiness to portray a slightly shyer, more put-upon character who's quietly resigned to the way everyone treats her.
Similarly, Common has a nice line in smiley, soft-spoken charm but there's not really much in the way of chemistry between them.
The supporting cast aren't given too much of a look-in, but there's strong work from Paula Patton as the oblivious, self-obsessed Morgan while Pam Grier (poor old Pam Grier – from Coffy and Foxy Brown to playing Queen Latifah's mum) and James Pickens Jr make the most of their limited screen time as Leslie's parents.
The film's biggest problem is its insipid and predictable script. It's also let down by an entirely superfluous third act that requires Scott to behave in a way that just doesn't ring true in context – it's bad enough that he gets his head turned by Morgan once (when he's obviously already interested in Leslie), but the circumstances and timing of the same behaviour later on force you to lose all respect for the character.
In addition, the lazily written script continually cops out of dramatically satisfying emotional confrontation scenes – it badly needs a scene where Leslie yells at both her mother and Morgan, for example.
Just Wright remains watchable thanks to Queen Latifah's likeable performance but the lazily written script means that it never quite connects on an emotional level.