The romantic dramedy might be the most successful genre in all of black cinema, and the late 90’s and early 00’s was arguably the genre’s heyday with star studded films dropping seemingly every other month. And for today’s #CultureClassic we shoot our shot with one of the best of that time, Love & Basketball.
Love & Basketball dropped in 2000 and starred Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps. The film tells the story of two ballers (and next-door neighbors) in L.A., Quincy McCall (Epps) and Monica Wright (Lathan), who are following their hoop dreams. The film follows them from childhood through adulthood as they pursue their bball careers starting out as friends/rivals before eventually falling for each other.
The chemistry between Epps and Lathan’s characters was the true driving force of the film connecting the audience to the characters . Combined with with a great mix of drama, laughs, ups and downs, and basketball action, the film was an instant hit. It made $3.1 million its first day and $8.1 million it’s opening weekend before going on to gross $27.7 mill total worldwide.
The film was produced by Spike Lee‘s company 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, and is also significant for marking the directorial debut of screenwriter Gina Prince-Bythewood who has become one of the top 5 highest grossing black female directors of all-time.
Love & Basketball has stood the test of time with two of the most memorable scenes in black cinema this millennium. The dorm room one-on-one game and the climatic “For your heart” scene are still quoted, referenced, and recreated to this day cementing it’s spot as a #CultureClassic.
If you enjoyed that look at a throwback Film/TV classic. Check out more of our #CultureClassics:
Written by @TalentedMrFord