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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Just Wright

By
Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service


Common and Queen Latifah star in a scene from the movie "Just Wright."
The familiar elements of both romantic comedy and inspirational sports films are seamlessly blended in "Just Wright" (Fox Searchlight).

Queen Latifah plays Leslie Wright, a super-competent physical therapist and hardcore New Jersey Nets fan who has come to accept—however ruefully—her status as every guy's nonromantic homegirl.

Her younger, attractive "godsister," Morgan Alexander (Paula Patton)—who lives with Leslie and Leslie's parents, Lloyd and Janice (James Pickens Jr. and Pam Grier)—has a singular ambition: to become the wife of a professional basketball player. Morgan is hopelessly shallow, interested only in status and shopping.

When Leslie has a chance encounter with New Jersey Nets star Scott McKnight (rapper Common), he finds her confidence and sunny personality appealing, and invites her to a party at his mansion. Leslie brings the flirtatious Morgan along; Scott impulsively falls for Morgan, and almost as quickly, decides to marry her.

This could be just another bitter episode for Leslie, except that Scott gets a potentially career-ending knee injury. Morgan finds Scott's fetching blond therapist a threat, so she asks Leslie to move in and go to work in her stead.

Unwilling to endure possible hardship, Morgan eventually runs off when it looks as if the Nets won't give Scott a new contract.

Will Scott's knee recover in time for the playoffs? Will Leslie's tough love restore the whole man? Will they bond over their love of classic jazz, and will he finally see that Leslie is perfect for him? Well, the script has the Nets in the NBA finals, so those willing to surrender to all the fantasy elements will likely have a very good time indeed.

Director Sanaa Hamri and screenwriter Michael Elliot (who wrote the engaging 2002 basketball comedy "Like Mike") use the lightest of touches to create a warm, likable environment and convey a message about relationships founded on enduring values.

Probably acceptable for more mature teens, despite the elements listed below.

The film contains a single use of crude language and an implied premarital encounter. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

*****
Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.


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Cyril and Methodius: Because their father was an officer in a part of Greece inhabited by many Slavs, these two Greek brothers ultimately became missionaries, teachers and patrons of the Slavic peoples. 
<p>After a brilliant course of studies, Cyril (called Constantine until he became a monk shortly before his death) refused the governorship of a district such as his brother had accepted among the Slavic-speaking population. Cyril withdrew to a monastery where his brother Methodius had become a monk after some years in a governmental post. </p><p>A decisive change in their lives occurred when the Duke of Moravia (present-day Czech Republic) asked the Eastern Emperor Michael for political independence from German rule and ecclesiastical autonomy (having their own clergy and liturgy). Cyril and Methodius undertook the missionary task. </p><p>Cyril’s first work was to invent an alphabet, still used in some Eastern liturgies. His followers probably formed the Cyrillic alphabet (for example, modern Russian) from Greek capital letters. Together they translated the Gospels, the psalter, Paul’s letters and the liturgical books into Slavonic, and composed a Slavonic liturgy, highly irregular then. </p><p>That and their free use of the vernacular in preaching led to opposition from the German clergy. The bishop refused to consecrate Slavic bishops and priests, and Cyril was forced to appeal to Rome. On the visit to Rome, he and Methodius had the joy of seeing their new liturgy approved by Pope Adrian II. Cyril, long an invalid, died in Rome 50 days after taking the monastic habit. </p><p>Methodius continued mission work for 16 more years. He was papal legate for all the Slavic peoples, consecrated a bishop and then given an ancient see (now in the Czech Republic). When much of their former territory was removed from their jurisdiction, the Bavarian bishops retaliated with a violent storm of accusation against Methodius. As a result, Emperor Louis the German exiled Methodius for three years. Pope John VIII secured his release. </p><p>Because the Frankish clergy, still smarting, continued their accusations, Methodius had to go to Rome to defend himself against charges of heresy and uphold his use of the Slavonic liturgy. He was again vindicated. </p><p>Legend has it that in a feverish period of activity, Methodius translated the whole Bible into Slavonic in eight months. He died on Tuesday of Holy Week, surrounded by his disciples, in his cathedral church. </p><p>Opposition continued after his death, and the work of the brothers in Moravia was brought to an end and their disciples scattered. But the expulsions had the beneficial effect of spreading the spiritual, liturgical and cultural work of the brothers to Bulgaria, Bohemia and southern Poland. Patrons of Moravia, and specially venerated by Catholic Czechs, Slovaks, Croatians, Orthodox Serbians and Bulgarians, Cyril and Methodius are eminently fitted to guard the long-desired unity of East and West. In 1980, Pope John Paul II named them additional co-patrons of Europe (with Benedict).</p> American Catholic Blog This is the beauty of self-giving love: Men and women, driven by love, freely choose to give up their autonomy, to limit their freedom, by committing themselves to the good of the spouse. Love is so powerful that it impels them to want to surrender their will to their beloved in this profound way.

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