Thursday, May 20, 2010

Something in Common?

It's the NBA playoffs, and after my Celtics went up 2-0 on the Magic last night, I'm itching to get a little basketball into my movie blog.

Fortunately, Fox Searchlight did me a favor by releasing Just Wright last Friday, just in time for the beginning of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. (Though surprisingly, I haven't seen as much cross-promotional material as you would expect -- the more prominent tie-ins have been between basketball and The Prince of Persia, which makes a ton of sense.)

I haven't seen Just Wright, so I couldn't swear to any similarities between the movie and real life, in terms of the plot. But I sure can tell you a vibe I'm getting from this movie:

Is it just me, or is this The Jason Kidd Story?

For those of you unfamiliar with Jason Kidd, he's a point guard with above-average scoring ability, who has been considered one of the best players of his generation, even though he's now getting a bit long in the tooth at age 37. Kidd was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 1994, and has since played for the Phoenix Suns and the New Jersey Nets before returning to Dallas two years ago.

What concerns me today is where he made his longest stop, New Jersey, from 2001 to 2008. Because not only is Just Wright about a superstar who plays for the New Jersey Nets, but Common, who plays that superstar, actually looks a lot like Kidd.

Don't believe me? I submit this for your consideration, with Common on the left and Kidd on the right:

And how about this, with Common on top and Kidd on the bottom?

Look, I'm not saying they're identical twins. But the similarity is worth pointing out, especially since both the character and the real person play(ed) for the Nets. Kidd would have still been playing for the Nets at the time the script was developed, as well.

So I just took my first opportunity to google the terms "Jason Kidd" and "Just Wright," and I see that others have reached the same conclusion I have. Well, I came to that conclusion independently, so I'm not stealing anyone else's idea.

The actual details of the story don't seem to have anything to do with Kidd. Kidd has never sustained a career-threatening injury, for example. Common's Scott McKnight sustains such an injury in Just Wright, which is how he meets Queen Latifah's character, a physical therapist. (Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the player's last name is not Wright. Now I guess I'll have to see the movie to figure out what the title means.)

Well, without interviewing Just Wright screenwriter (or would that be screenwrighter?) Michael Elliot, I may never know.

But never knowing is half the battle.

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