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Love and Basketball



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10

MPAA Rating: PG-13

This romantic drama follows two childhood friends/rivals (Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps) who fall in love while each tries to achieve the dream of playing professional basketball. Also with Alfre Woodard, Dennis Haysbert, Debbi Morgan, Harry J. Lennix, Kyla Pratt, Glenndon Chatman, Tyra Banks, Monica Calhoun, Regina Hall and Boris Kodjoe. [2:04]

SEX/NUDITY 5 - Many instances of sexual innuendo and many kisses, sometimes passionate (in one scene a boy and girl fall to the ground and kiss passionately, and in another scene a man puts his hands on a woman's clothed buttocks as they kiss passionately). In an extended scene a girl takes off her top (she covers her breasts with her hands throughout the scene) and kisses a shirtless boy lying next to her in a bed; after he grabs a condom we see their bare shoulders and facial expressions as they have intercourse. A boy overhears his parents moaning, presumably during intercourse. A man and woman play "strip basketball" (we see her in a bra and briefly see his bare backside). We see a close-up of a boy's clothed buttocks, which a few girls are ogling; we also see a man wearing boxers, several women in cleavage-revealing tops and several women in sports bras in a locker room.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - We hear a man's leg snap when he falls to the floor after a slam-dunk; we later see him recovering in a hospital. During a basketball game a boy shoves a girl a few times; one time he pushes her to the ground and she gets some bloody cuts on her face (later we see her holding a bloody washcloth on her face). A boy pushes a girl off her bike, then they push each other to the ground and scuffle. A girl punches a boy's arm, a woman slaps another, and a woman throws her jewelry at a man's head as they yell at each other.

PROFANITY 5 - 1 F-word, lots of anatomical references, many scatological references, lots of mild obscenities and several insults. [profanity glossary]

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Falling in love, achieving one's dreams, infidelity, losing motivation, disappointment, family relationships, failed relationships, teen sexuality.

MESSAGE - Pursue your dreams and desires, even though it can be difficult at times. Achieving your goals can feel empty if you don't feel loved and supported by the right people.

Special Keywords: S5 - V3 - P5 - MPAAPG-13

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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