Who's In It: Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, Pam Grier

The Basics: Latifah is a physical therapist assigned to rehab NBA star Common after a knee-crunching injury. He's mostly into her best friend, the gold-digging Paula Patton (she was the nice teacher in Precious) but soon enough he comes to realize that Latifah is the lady for him. And believe it or not this is actually a more complex film than Letters to Juliet.

What's The Deal: You can't really call this a romantic comedy because it veers over into drama-land more often than not. All the bouncy Queen Latifah-isms you see in the TV spots (all those "I don't eat salad!" moments) are pretty much just in those TV spots. The rest of the movie has a little bit more on its mind than that. It takes its time putting the lovers together, grounds them in life situations that are as realistic as they can be for an adult fairy tale, and best of all refuses to humiliate its cast with obnoxious plot twists. You've seen it before--it lifts from Pretty Woman and The Truth About Cats & Dogs, to name a couple--but you won't hate seeing it again.

The Thing I'm Probably Not Supposed To Say But It's Still Important To Note: It's widely assumed but not confirmed--so don't sue me--that Queen Latifah isn't exactly looking for a life partner like Common in her off-screen moments. Allegedly. But their chemistry here is good. So good, in fact, that you root for them and believe it when they finally hook up and live happily ever after. After the recent Newsweek editorial in which it was declared that non-heterosexual actors are incapable of convincing audiences when they play straight, it's something that deserves comment.

Where It Comes From: Director Sanaa Hamri, who also made the under-appreciated Something New. What I wish for her is a magical commodity switch where she gets 20% of Tyler Perry's box office and he gets 20% of her filmmaking sensibility. Win-win.

And As "Himself:" Multiple NBA cameos from Dwight Howard, Dwayne Wade, Rashard Lewis, Bobby Simmons Jr., Jalen Rose and Rajon Rondo, Marv Albert, Mike Fratello, Kenny Smith, Stuart Scott and Elton Brand. It's a great marketing move and the reason why the injured male of the film isn't some guy with an artisanal goat cheese farm.


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