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And for me, the major draw was that the girl got to have her cake and eat it too. With a lot of films, I can see why someone from a certain area might not want to check it out, but this one, with the love dynamic and the relationships among the family members, has a lot to offer.Well, it really is about the girl, about Sanaa’s character Monica. I think it’s important, especially for black cinema, because we don’t get to see too often the father and son bonded beyond biological circumstances: this father raised his kid, living in the house with the mother. To me it’s not a surprise, it’s just a process of events.The eyes never lie Omar Epps has his hotel bed pillows on the sofa, so he can lean into them while he talks to you.But two minutes into the interview, he’s sitting up and facing you, enthusiastically punctuating his points with his hands.
Today he’s talking about Love & Basketball, writer-director Gina Prince-Blythewood’s first feature, produced by Spike Lee and Sam Kitt.
The film follows the intersecting romance and careers of two young Los Angeles-based basketball players, Q, played by Epps, and Monica, played by his offscreen girlfriend, Sanaa Lathan (Blade, The Best Man).
It’s a new slice of African American life, with basketball as a backdrop.
It’s refreshing in that it’s part of that new movement in black films, looking at the middle class, both the kids come from two-parent household, so it’s not against all odds, or basketball or die.
At 26, the graduate of New York’s High School of Performing Arts already has an impressive 10-year career, including his debut in Ernest Dickerson’s Juice to John Singleton’s Higher Learning, Charles S.Dutton’s HBO film, First Time Felon, and The Wood (not to mention his memorable turns in ER and Scream 2).