04.04.13

Roger Ebert, RIP

Posted in Basketball, Cinema, non-sporting journalism at 3:23 pm by

Since the entire movie is of course completely implausible, it seems unkind to single out specific examples of implausibility. But there’s a difference between the implausibility of the basic gimmick (man passing as a woman) and the implausibility of plot details within the gimmick. The most obvious comes at the end, when Juwanna is exposed as a man. The movie deals with that exposure but ignores another fact that almost every audience member will pick up on: If Juwanna’s team played the season with an ineligible player, doesn’t it have to forfeit all of its games? We aren’t supposed to ask questions like that, I suppose, but there’s another glitch that stands out because the movie insists on it. Early in the film, Juwanna is informed that dunking is illegal in the women’s league. Late in the film, she wins a game with a last-second dunk. Say what? Has everyone in the league forgotten the rules? Such glitches would matter more, I suppose, if the movie were serious. In a comedy, they’re distractions, suggesting the filmmakers either weren’t playing attention or didn’t care. I can’t recommend “Juwanna Mann” and yet I admire the pluck of the actors, especially Nunez, Fox and Tommy Davidson, as a spectacularly ineligible lothario, and I liked the way Kevin Pollack soldiers away as the manager who must be perpetually offended, astonished or frustrated. “Juwanna Mann” is unnecessary, but not painful.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, June 21, 2002

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