Love and Basketball

Rated 2.0 Inoffensive and occasionally engaging sports soap from former hoopster and first-time writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood, offering “four quarters” in the lives of two ballplayers, Quincy and Monica (Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan), who meet as pre-pubescent neighbors in upper-class Baldwin Hills, attend as lovers USC, and separate for careers not exactly what either planned. The quietly unfolding romance of the first half features several small, fine touches, but Prince-Bythewood loses her way when Quincy’s disappointment in the philanderings of all-pro dad (Dennis Haysbert) causes him to reject his father, Monica, and his own best interests. From then on the thing just sort of meanders shallowly along, until, inevitably, the leads at last again converge.