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Juwanna Mann

Starring Miguel A. Nunñez, Jr, Vivica A. Fox, Tommy Davidson, Kim Wayans, Ginuwine, Lil' Kim and Kevin Pollack
Written by Bradley Allenstein
Directed by Jesse Vaughan

IN SHORT: We're the guy who wasn't laughing. [Rated PG-13 for Language and Sex Related Material. 89 minutes]

To be fair, the audience at our screening of Juwanna Mann didn't leave puddles on the floor but most of 'em were laughing consistently. Hell if we know at what, but they were. . . and we've managed to suspend enough belief to get through Mrs. Doubtfire after the far superior Tootsie. We only hoped to be surprised at what looked like an incredibly stupid idea for a movie, and proved to be exactly that (if only to us).

Jamal Jeffries (Miguel A. Nuñez Jr.) spreads the gospel of his greatness wherever he goes. A large, full color poster image of is radiant mug is mounted in front of the radiator of his Humvee personal tank. To protect his hands, when kidlets ask for autographs, he has a mechanical stamp to do the deed. Jamal is the heart and soul of the Charlotte Beat and knows it. He'll tell it to the ref. He'll tell it to his teammates. He'll tell it to the loyal fans and he'll talk back at the Coach. When Jamal continues to preach the Gospel According to Me, Coach fires the loudmouth. Shirts fly. Shorts fly -- all this clothing is from the body of Mr. Jeffries -- and soon the jock strap follows, as do the security guards who escort the buck naked pig of a player out of the stadium. The crowd is incensed -- except for those femmes who have the XXX seats -- the League is incensed; the team management is incensed and Jamal's friend and agent Lorne Daniels (Kevin Pollack) lets his ex-friend and former client know that the owners of every team in every city in every possible league won't even consider picking up Jamal's now available contract. All the while, Jamal is partying his brains out.

Of course, without incoming cash, the skanks split. The Bentleys and Rolls-Royces and Viper cars and his mansion are repossessed. The ex- Master of the World is reduced to driving a borrowed dump of a car owned by his strict and severe Aunt Ruth (Jennifer Lewis). Needing to play, Jamal raids his aunt's closet and, voila, "Juwanna Mann" is created and, thanks to a reco from Jamal to Lorne, Juwanna gets an open audition with the Charlotte Banshees. Totally dominating all the other players (well, d'uh) Juwanna gets a place on the bench and develops a sandpaper rivalry with team Captain Michelle (Vivica A. Fox).

Gee, do you think you can figure out what comes next? We'll save you the cash: Love and Championship and Unveiling, not necessarily in that order. yadda yadda.

We wish we could be less sarcastic about that last question but, repeating ourselves, there is nothing funny in this every-joke-has-been-told-a-thousand-times-before movie. It is only the teens, who aren't old enough to have heard 'em all a thousand times before who were laughing at this flick which, though the target audience, doesn't mean much to us. The better comedies, at minimum, offer up something that viewers (sometimes below and sometimes) older than the target can giggle at. Juwanna Mann offers up nothing but grimaces.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Juwanna Mann, he would have paid . . .


There's nothing here that you can't let a teen watch unsupervised. Nor is there anything here that will be of any interest to those much outside of that age demographic.

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