Did you play the video above?
It’s to set the mood – so scroll back up,
and read as we play…
Love and Basketball!
It’s an old classic.
One of my favourites!
And I was inspired during this time of reflection to play some basketball and de-code.
Released at the start of a new era, the year 2000, my 16 year old self, fell in love with a movie that represented and influenced my perspective of Black Love….
20 years later – and the unique love language needed for a successful relationship is a common goal… or in this case net.
Everything starts with foundation.
In the foundation of the sport of basketball you need two teams apposing each other.
Typically its 5, but for the sake of this review and for decoding the language aiding in finding love let’s have a One on One analysis.
[#shoutout to Kyla Pratt who plays the younger Monica in Love and Basketball, and also stars in the sitcom linked]
Funnily enough One on One is about the relationship between father and daughter and like the Mother and Son relationship, I think this parental connection works as the foundation and premise of who we meet and how we nurture our romantic relationships.
For many poor/ working class people - finance is the centre – and is definitely the driving force in most Black cinema, but Love and Baskeball goes that bit deep investigating the root... to the tree of LOVE.
Love as an action… as a sport - with activities, rules, discipline and competiton
- gives it a whole new feeling right?
And the root being a channelled knowing, not a queesy, wild feeling...
The root ,
If you're lucky,
is nourished from childhood by your guardians and environment.
Well... that's where digging and decoding becomes essential.
Either way - The Root MUST be nourished!
So in meeting that one how do we know they equate?
Let's try some maths...
Or have we been fed the math equation all wrong!
I met my other half... 1/2+1/2 = 1?
Or, is a solid relationship the work you do on yourself therefore…
Whole and Whole (1+1) = 1 (WHOLE)!
Quincy and Monica meet in... (I mean on the) court and having learnt their own unique creativity and love for basketball,
reflect themselves in their love.
The Language of Love = The Sport of What (Who)we Love
*A sport because it's constructive and games are just for FUN
Quincy thinking Monica is a boy at first is a really important and key moment for me, as it adds to love being reflective to him,
and the wholeness of seeing a person rather than their role or construct... avoiding the usual objectification or surface lust that commonly occurs!
It's why I think a friendship is a sacred Starting Point. Outside of sexual desire - we need to realise (particularly in heterosexual relationships) that we play on the same team.
He’s watching… not your hair but your attitude.
Monica dribbles through the film
learning how to control her emotions in the game… (I mean sport).
However, Travelling through the conventions of girlhood to womanhood is more difficult and I thoroughly enjoyed this depiction – especially as a cisgendered, heterosexual woman.
Qunicy’s ability to see pass Monica’s hair and genuinely be interested and concerned about her skill and discipline demonstrated true sapiosexual vibes, seldom characterised when depicting black masculinity - and I live for that!
For me, there’s no better turn on than someone that has the ability to find me attractive on different levels and in different realms.
It's a sign of true intelligence!
I'm down with that... are you?
And don’t you just love a film that causes you to question your life, like…
How effectively do I channel my passion?
And... how much does my lack of discipline and issue with competition -
interfere and potentially cost me my my career…
or my crush?
When your game is cancelled will the love continue to play?
Having defined my terms for Games and Sport let’s get into the pain of the unknown.
It’s that moment (analogy) when you’re dribbling that basketball...
You have a clear view of the net -
out of nowhere!
a member from the apposing team (in this case another girl)
What do you do?
There’s only a few eggs… (I mean seconds) left…
What do you do?
COMPETITION is rife!
And if, like me, your foundation has sheltered and blindsighted you from clearly seeing the net -
the man of your dreams
and shooting for what you want
to be your best self...
You stay down
the sport of basketball teaches us to pick ourselves
If we are to live,
we are to continue to push the boundaries
whilst not losing but knowing our value!
in Basketball it's Value Over Replacement Players – VORP
To love the fruit, which is to love yourself, means to love and learn about the root…
It's a happily ever after, fairytale ending for Monica and Quincy - but is that reality?
And how long are we required to wait?
Monica – played by Sanaa Lathan and Quincy played by Omar Epps,
actually dated at the time of filming, but broke up so... not always, and not for them. But I think their true feelings for one another transcended the camera making the film epic.
And maybe that...
happily ever after
cannot yet be answered, as both of their stories continue.
Our reflection is forever changing...
and if that means so is our idea of love
or having a different person to love...
is this such a bad thing?
Kind of... sort of, have to be
your own LOVE...
I think an old, deep injury (usually from our childhood) that hasn’t healed properly affects our shot of love.
We need to recover from traumatic behaviours that affect our precision
or negative association with competition... usually from our guard-ians
What's this point-guard saying?!
You can watch Love and Basketball on Amazon Prime, YouTube and Google Play.
Written and Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
A fave of all time