Jamal Jefferies (Miquel Nuņez, Jr.) is a basketball superstar with an ego the size of Texas. He believes that his talent is so fierce that he can do anything and get away with it because his team can't afford to let him go. Well when he literally shows his behind and his um... shortcomings to the fans at a game, he learns that his team is going to have to make it without him because he is suspended indefinitely.
Broke and friendless, he moves back home with his aunt (Jenifer Lewis) while he tries to get it together. He's convinced that at the arbitration hearing that he'll be re-instated so he just plays it cool until then. At the hearing he once again proves that he needs an attitude adjustment and he's denied a second chance. This time around even his agent Lorne (Kevin Pollack) kicks him to the curb.
After the hearing he is watching some neighborhood kids play ball and sees a little girl waxing the court. He comes up with the idea that he can play for the WNBA. Jamal calls his agent and tells him that he has someone that he wants him to meet and then Jamal starts trying on his aunt's clothes. Juwanna Mann is born.
Juwanna earns a spot on the North Carolina Banshee's where she (he) learns about sharing and teamwork. She (he) also falls in love with the team captain, Michelle (Vivica A. Fox). How long can Jamal live as a woman especially if he is in love with Michelle and what happens when his secret is found out?
Juwanna is predictable and not very original and the plot and acting were less than stellar, but I liked it anyway. It doesn't pretend to be deep or thought provoking. It is what it is - pure summer fluff. Tommy Davidson was the standout as a "KUNTRAY" rapper named Puff Smokey Smoke who happens to be in love with Juwanna. She spends half her time practically beating him off with a stick and he keeps coming back for more. The interaction between these two totally cracked me up.
Not to mention my favorite Diva on the planet - Jenifer Lewis, makes a few appearances as Jamal's auntie. That alone was enough to make me like this movie.
Both Ginuwine and Lil' Kim left a lot to be desired, but Lil' Kim is getting better as she practices more. And I'm sorry, but Kim Wayans got on my last nerve. I don't find her very funny. She managed to pick a winner on In Livin' Color every now and again, but for the most part, she just wears me out. Just like her brother Marlon. I just can't stomach either one of them.
This is a cute little date film and if you miss it while it's in the theater, it's a definite rental.
This movie is about a man in drag, but it's far from being a drag itself.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2002
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