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Movie Review

Jamal Jeffries has an ego bigger than the NBA sport arenas he performs in. And when his puffed-up importance gets him in trouble with his coach during a game, unemployment is Jeffries' fate. But before leaving the court, cocky Jeffries jumps up on the scorer’s table and exposes himself to the fans (viewed from the back). When he realizes his antics have left him unhirable, and discovers his lavish spending and high rolling lifestyle have left him broke, he concocts a plan for a new job—to play in the women’s league WUBA. Of course, dressing in drag is just the beginning of the deception. A multitude of genital jokes later, Jeffries—as Juwanna Mann—succeeds in his courtside endeavors—leading his/her Charlotte Banshees to the playoffs. But when, in game one, Jeffries slam-dunks the basketball, more than just the backboard comes crashing down. Losing his wig in this nationally televised game, it becomes obvious to all—his team, his coach, the TV audience—that Jeffries' femininity is a sham.

positive elements: A super-sized ego is portrayed as a negative trait (although it doesn’t result in realistic consequences). By film’s end, Jeffries’ self-centeredness has dropped several notches. Teamwork is shown to be superior to ball-hogging and one-[wo]man-showmanship. When confronted with the fact that no team wants him, Jeffries’ agent blames it on the contract’s "moral clause," adding, "You don’t seem to have it." (Not that the agent’s moral compass isn’t just as askew as Jeffries’.)

sexual content: Voyeurism, lusting, a bit of nudity and sexually-suggestive banter. Although Jeffries is hooked up with trophy girl Parker (whose cameo appearance finds her dressed in an ultra-revealing outfit), he lusts after a woman on TV. With Jeffries’ career in shambles, Parker tells him their romantic life is over and cracks a joke about masturbation. One elderly lady tries to hit on Jeffries during a bridge game at his aunt’s house. Another removes her bra from under her shirt. Jeffries dances around while trying on his aunt’s clothes. Jeffries checks out "booties" in the female locker room, hanging out and peeking at his teammates in the showers When he joins them, he showers fully clothed (he claims it is "bad luck" to undress after a win). In several scenes, Jeffries grabs his fake breasts. One scene finds one of his breasts getting away from him and sticking to a pane of glass near his coach and a teammate (they’re oblivious). After being stopped for speeding, Jeffries is forced to fork over his driver’s license. Of course, it doesn’t match his female appearance. But rather than get a ticket, the officer confides that he, too, will be getting a sex-change operation soon ("I’m a thousand dollars away from getting it done, too"). Covering up his frequent erections becomes a running gag. And penis size is discussed at some length. A sex scene shows a lot of motion under the covers, but no skin. Outtakes show a man feeling up Jeffries’ fake breasts. Jeffries and another man mime anal sex.

violent content: Jeffries knocks down a female player during practice. He punches a man for cheating on a girl. When struggling rapper Puff Smokey Smoke puts the moves on Jeffries (thinking he is a woman), Jeffries punches him in the groin. Jeffries also breaks a basketball backboard and a vase.

crude or profane language: Close to 10 s-words and several bleeped f-words. Milder profanity gets quite a work out, as do various vulgarities for genitalia (both male and female). Nearly 20 misuses of the Lord’s name.

drug and alcohol content: Jeffries and others drink at a party he hosts. An intoxicated Jeffries in drag is shown from the back urinating in the men’s room while the guy next to him checks out his genitals. In addition to the dinner scene that led to this drunkenness, several others moments find characters drinking.

other negative elements: Aunt Ruby is the one "stable" influence in Jeffries life. But to think that this mother-like woman would be part and parcel to Jeffries' ridiculous and deceptive plan is beyond belief—especially since she comes across as wise early on. Although Jeffries treats her respectfully, he doesn’t think anything about lying to her (telling her that the party music in the background of a phone conversation is actually coming from the television).

[Spoiler Warning] All isn’t well that ends well. After Jeffries is outed, he is quickly forgiven by the Banshees who help convince the NBA commissioner to reinstate him in the NBA. Plus, he gets his girl—the Banshees’ team captain—and returns to his lavish lifestyle.

Several offensive music tracks also mar this flick (including Mystikal’s "Shake Ya A--" and Fat Joe’s "What’s Luv?").

conclusion: Not only is this movie a complete waste of time due to its objectionable content, but also because it’s so unbelievable. Lest we forget, Jeffries is a Peeping Tom who uses deception to get ahead in professional sports. Even in today’s anything-goes culture, if this event made the headlines, the Banshees’ players would be filing sexual harassment lawsuits, not coming to his defense. And the public would require some degree of censure from professional basketball for Jeffries pretense of being a female athlete. There would also be questions about the legitimacy of being in the playoffs once it became obvious that cheating was involved. The movie glosses over these glaring issues. Not that anyone’s pretending this movie is about issues. And it’s not about doing the right thing, either. It’s all about appealing to laugh-starved moviegoers who consider sexual dialogue, cross-dressing and deception humorous. Juwanna Mann steps over the foul line way too many times.

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Drug and Alcohol Content

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