Jamal Jeffries and his trash-talking, ball-hogging, team-hating ways get him booted out of the league. When his fancy accessories--crib, cars, ultra-fine girlfriend--dribble away as quickly as his career, a desperate, financially-strapped Jamal takes his last shot at crashing the boards. Transforming himself into female power forward "Juwanna Mann," Jamal scores a tryout with the only pro organization that will take him--the women's league. It's tough enough for Jamal/Juwanna to contend with fierce competition on the court and proper protocol in the ladies' locker room, but his identity crisis hits another snag when he falls for team captain Michelle Langford. Too bad Michelle is already tight with smooth-talking lady killer Romeo, a dawg with moves sprung straight from Jamal's old bad boy playbook. And when rapper Puff Smokey Smoke tries to score with Juwanna, there are more balls in play than Jamal knows how to handle. It's gonna take more than a heavily-padded sports bra for Jamal to bounce back, but by the buzzer, he'll learn that to be a better man--and ballplayer--he's gotta get in touch with his feminine side.
There is very little new in this picture about an arrogant pro basketball player who becomes a better man by spending time as a woman. Its basically "Slamdunk Tootsie." While in disguise, the hero falls in love with a teammate (Vivica A. Fox) who regards him as a sisterly confidante, and fends off the advances of a besotted hip-hop dandy, played with demented exuberance by Tommy Davidson, who in his scenes lifts the picture from moderately amusing to the intermittently hilarious. — A. O. Scott
2002-06-21 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Juwanna Mann