Love & Basketball is a classic film that tells the stories of two basketball players who are also lovers. The movie spans from their childhood all the way through college and their adult years. Love & Basketball can best be described as a romantic drama. It came out in April of 2000 and has Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps as the two co-stars. They put on an excellent performance of two people who have the same dream of playing for the NBA one day. The movie begins when they are both 11 living in Los Angeles in 1981.
At the beginning of the movie, Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and her family move to Quincy’s (Omar Epps) neighborhood in L.A. The first major event in the movie is when they meet at age 11. They play each other in basketball and he is surprised at how good she is. The movie then jumps to their senior year in high school. At this point in time, they have a love-hate relationship. They are both very focused on their basketball careers. Quincy has multiple schools wanting to sign him, but Monica hasn’t been recruited yet. Eventually, there is a major turn of events when they finally realize that they love each other. They become a couple and commit to the same college: USC. When they reach college, their relationship goes through some trials. Monica is doing well on the women’s team while Quincy decides to drop out and go pro. This causes them to break up and go their separate ways in life. The next major event in the movie is when Monica decides to play for an All-American team in Italy. She moves there, and in the meantime Quincy gets engaged to another woman. At this point, five years have passed since they were in college. Monica quits playing, and upon returning to L.A. she is crushed when Quincy tells her about his engagement. She challenges him to play one last game with her: a one-on-one match. She tells him that if she wins, she gets to win his heart back. Do Monica and Quincy get back together? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
One aspect of filmmaking that was prevalent throughout the movie was background music. It was used to better convey the mood of a particular scene. For example, the night that Monica and Quincy first kissed there was a love song playing. Also, during their basketball games there was always fast-paced music playing. This was used to hype up the scene and give the viewer a sense of urgency. A lot of the games played were championships, and this music added to the excitement.
Another part of film-making that I found great in this movie was the acting itself. The two co-stars were excellent in playing their roles. With each step in their relationship, as the viewer, I felt where they were coming from. It was very understandable. It was said that the directors of the movie put a lot of thought into the actors before deciding on Sanaa and Omar. During their one-on-one match that I talked about earlier, they conveyed so much passion for each other through the acting. I felt as though I was in the scene with them, feeling what they felt. That’s how acting is supposed to affect the viewer.
Lastly, this is a classic film that I would recommend for everyone to watch. Even if you aren’t into basketball, it is still a drama that will keep your attention from beginning to end. I’ve watched it more than 10 times, and my reaction to it is still one of awe. I’m amazed by the storyline as well as the terrific acting. However, if you won’t just take my word for it, watch it and find out how amazing it is for yourself.
By: Ashley O’Guinn