The three most excruciating experiences I've had at the movies in 2010 have all been romantic comedies: Leap Year, When in Rome and The Back-Up Plan. It's not that I dislike romantic comedies. I'm actually really fond of them, but I think it's safe to say that it has become Hollywood's laziest genre (horror remakes notwithstanding). So when Just Wright, starring Queen Latifah and Common, came up on my to-do list, I was not pleased. Happily, right from its first ten minutes, Just Wright had me feeling welcome and comfortable, and after twenty minutes I was effortlessly charmed.
So what's the difference? We can start with the lead character Leslie Wright (Latifah). Unlike her cohorts in the previous three movies, she's not desperate. She does not expend every fiber of her being pining for a boyfriend. (And in these movies, it's not just any boyfriend; it has to be Mr. Right.) She's not an overeager yapping puppy. She's not frantic or an uptight control freak. When she wakes up in the morning, she casually makes breakfast and goes to work. She works as a physical therapist and drives a beat-to-crap Ford Mustang. When she leaves the house, she moves with confidence, but with a slight almost imperceptible sadness. She never begs for our love. Instead, she earns it right then and there.