“Love & Basketball” is one of those black love story movies that everyone has at least seen once. Starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan, the movie tells the tale of two neighborhood kids who fall in love with basketball and each other as we watch them transition into adulthood.
How cute, right?
In reality, Love & Basketball was about Q (played by Omar), an egotistical, selfish, bratty athlete who could only see his own dreams and repeatedly shits on the love of his life, Monica (played by Sanaa). The male ego is fragile and it is shown throughout the movie as Q takes out his inability to cope with his personal issues on the only woman who has been there for him from the beginning. However, he isn’t the only one with ego problems. So determined to prove herself, Monica’s a sore loser and her arrogance builds a wedge between her and Q as well. The film challenges gender roles, family dynamics, first love romance, heartbreak, relationships and what happens when following your dreams go askew. The chemistry between Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps is so natural and real that you can’t help but hope that they get it together. There’s just too many cute scenes in the film for you not to make the couple #RelationshipGoals.
When tomboy Monica puts on a dress for prom and Q couldn’t stop staring:
The precious “virginity” scene with Maxwell playing in the background:
The “basketball strip” scene:
Re-watching the film as an adult, I find so many things to relate to as I reflect on my own love affairs and career aspirations. As nostalgic as it makes me feel, it still irks me how Q played Monica up til the end. It’s not until he’s washed up with no hopes of ever playing in the league again does he accept that he wants to be with Monica. Does he go and try to win back her heart? Nah, she goes to him and gives us the iconic “I’ll play you for your heart” scene.
When Monica loses the game, you think that the film will not end with a “happily ever after note” until Q says “double or nothing”
*cue the tears*
After all the bullshit, these two hard headed people get together after all and make it work.
“Love & Basketball” is about how you can either be in love or play basketball but it gets complicated when you try to do both.