Love and Basketball Movie Review (2024)

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

  • Positive Messages

    a little

    Monica faces sexist behavior and attitudes from those closest to her as she proves basketball is just as important to her as it is to male players. Quincy's dad is an abandoning, philandering father figure and Quincy works hard throughout the film not to turn out like him.

  • Positive Role Models


    As a female basketball player, Monica faces sexism and double standards both on and off the court, but proves herself a champion through determination, love for the game. For all his faults, Quincy's father encourages Quincy to choose graduating from college over turning pro before graduating. Quincy refuses to be like his philandering basketball star father.

  • Violence & Scariness

    a little

    Some scuffles, parent slaps adult child. Some basketball fouls.

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  • Sex, Romance & Nudity


    Fairly explicit sexual references and situations. Quincy's father is unfaithful; women fall all over Quincy and explicitly ask to sleep with him. As high schoolers, Quincy and Monica have sex -- a condom is prominent in that scene. A game of strip basketball in a dorm room shows underwear only. Brief nudity: male buttocks. As a child, Quincy overhears his parents having sex in the other room.

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  • Language


    "F--kin'" used once. "S--t," "bulls--t," "damn," "bitch," "t-tties," "ass," "goddamn." Some sexual references, such as "coochie," "bone," "get with you," "stick your thing in anything."

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  • Products & Purchases

    very little

    Domino's Pizza box in one scene. Miller Genuine Draft is the beer of choice in a bar. NBA, WNBA, USC.

  • Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

    a little

    Drinking at a college party; one of the lead characters is drunk and surly. In another scene, the mother of one of the lead characters is drunk, drowning her sorrows on the back patio of her house.

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  • Parents Need to Know

    Parents need to know that Love & Basketball is a 2000 coming-of-age romance that follows a relationship between childhood neighbors through the ups and downs of their lives on and off the court. This movie has strong sexuality for a PG-13, including descriptions of some sexually aggressive women, a strip basketball game, and a scene of Monica and Quincy having sex that has no nudity but is fairly explicit -- and includes the obvious use of a condom. A character gets drunk when she finds out that her husband has been unfaithful. Quincy is drunk and surly at a college party where there's a lot of drinking. Profanity is regularly used, including "f--kin'" (used once). Other language includes "s--t," "bulls--t," "damn," "bitch," "t-tties," "ass," "goddamn." Some sexual references are heard, such as "coochie," "bone," "get with you," "stick your thing in anything." The movie also explores issues of sexism in sports, and the double standards in how aggressive play from men is treated differently from aggressive play from women. It also explores the pressures that talented collegiate athletes face: whether to stay in college and earn a degree or turn pro in the hopes of making a large salary. The not-so-glamorous realities of professional basketball players who aren't playing on the NBA circuit is also shown. For families with aspiring athletes, these are all issues in the movie worth discussing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.

What's the Story?

Divided into quarters like a real basketball game, LOVE & BASKETBALL shows two basketball-obsessed kids, Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps), as they make friends on the court at age 11, play basketball in the same high school, then at the same college, and then go pro. As they deal with unfaithful, dishonest, and unsupportive parents; demanding coaches; hostile teammates; and the temptation of recruiters; their friendship blossoms into love, then hate, and back again.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

  • Families can talk about how people reconcile the demands of love, family, and career, and why it is that Monica and Quincy had so much trouble telling each other how they felt. Teens may also want to talk about the different views Monica and Quincy had of their relationship at different ages, and how the key element linking them through all was not basketball but friendship.

  • How does the movie explore some of the double standards of sexism in sport?

  • Besides the central story, what are some of the other themes the movie explores? For instance, how does the movie show the lives of professional basketball players who haven't made it to the NBA/WNBA elite? Or the choice gifted collegiate athletes must make between graduating from college or turning pro before earning a degree?

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 14, 2000
  • On DVD or streaming: October 10, 2000
  • Cast: Alfre Woodard, Omar Epps, Sanaa Lathan
  • Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
  • Inclusion Information: Female directors, Black directors, Female actors, Black actors
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
  • Run time: 124 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: language, sexual references, and sexual situations
  • Last updated: March 2, 2023

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