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Juwanna Mann

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2002 1 Jan
Juwanna Mann
from Film Forum, 06/27/02

Juwanna Mann is a comedy about a man who wants to make it in professional basketball, even if it means taking a starring role in the women's league. Miguel A. Núñez Jr. stars as the ambitious athlete, while Vivica A. Fox and Kevin Pollack costar. Director Jessie Vaughn's only previous directorial effort was a VH-1 special on Paula Abdul. According to religious press critics, this is not much of a step up.

"I have a dream," says Phil Boatwright. "Someday, I'm going to see a comic film starring African Americans, about African Americans, that doesn't rely on crudity and sexual situations to draw humor from." Similarly, Paul Bicking (Preview) says, "Frequent sexual comments, vulgar language, and nudity cause Juwanna Mann to foul out."

Michael Elliott compares the film to another gender-mixup comedy, and finds Juwanna Mann sorely lacking. "Tootsie was timely. Tootsie was funny. Tootsie was good. Juwanna Mann is none of these."

The USCCB's critic calls it "off-putting … and unsuitable for adolescents. The sappy all-ends-well conclusion and feeble message about the merits of teamwork can't compensate for what is essentially a derivative film chock full of old jokes with little entertainment value."