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Juwanna Mann

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Juwanna Mann

Starring: Miguel A. Nunez Jr., Tommy Davidson
Director: Jesse Vaughan
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 91 Minutes
Release Date: June 2002
Genres: Comedy, Sports

*Also starring: Ginuwine, Vivica Fox, Lil' Kim, Kevin Pollak, Kim Wayans, Annie Corley

Review by Susan Granger
1 star out of 4

Jamal Jeffrey's (Miguel A. Nunez Jr.) is an obnoxious pro basketball star who's got game, girls and a gigantic ego. To protect his valuable hands, he even totes around a mechanical stamp to sign autographs. What he doesn't have is self-control, so he gets booted out of the league. What's a guy gonna do? Become a girl! What else? So Jamal gets himself a heavily padded sports bra, shaves his legs, dons a wig and joins the Charlotte Banshees in the women's basketball league. His new name is Juwanna Mann, and he's delighted to pat other player's buns and ogle their bodies. No one seems to notice his male-sized Adam's apple, deep voice or the fact that he's slam-dunking - which is forbidden in the women's league. Hey, what's so unusual about a player showering with his/her uniform on? He/she even has an ardent suitor, a rapper named Puff Smokey Smoke (Tommy Davidson). The problem develops when Jamal/Juwanna has a hankering for the comely captain Michelle Langford (Vivica A. Fox) and discovers, to win her approval, he's gonna have to learn teamwork, humility and develop some sensitivity. And when his/her tacky ruse is discovered, there are no ramifications. The team is allowed to stay in the playoffs. There is nothing even remotely original about the glib, idiotic, gender-bending masquerade, written by Bradley Allerstein and directed by Jesse Vaughn. Miguel A. Nunez looks like a guy in drag - and his hoops are definitely empty. Kevin Pollak, as Jamal/Juwanna's agent, gets all the laughs, fretting that when the scam's discovered he'll end up booking clowns at birthday parties. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Juwanna Man" is a foul, fumbling 3. Now, if you want to see a really effective cross-dressing charade, rent "Tootsie," "Victor/Victoria" or "Some Like It Hot."

Copyright 2002 Susan Granger

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