Love (Yourself) & Basketball
Love & Basketball turns 20 years old this week. It defies many categories. It is a sports movie, but not quite. It is a romantic movie and a drama, but still not quite. It fits in its own category. It is a category of very personal pieces that creators hope and dream to make for years. I can’t quite speak to the basketball aspect of the movie, being an artiste and a nerd, but I can speak to the love part, being single. Gina Prince-Bythewood was an athlete, and Monica is very much her avatar. If that’s true, I hope Gina didn’t marry a man like Quincy, because...Monica, I’m talking to you; you can do better, honey.
Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are next-door neighbors in this movie and best friends since childhood, always in and out of love with one another. For movies like this, for the two of them to end up together seems like what is “supposed” to happen. Destiny! Fate!
But here’s the thing, Quincy is an interminably awful boyfriend. He broke up with Monica because she didn’t want to break curfew to talk about his problems. She never said she wouldn’t listen to his issues, she just couldn’t do it at the bleachers. He doesn’t care about her passion for the same sport that he cares about, because to him, her interest will always be secondary and less real.