Juwanna Mann is a 2002 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Jesse Vaughan. The film stars Miguel A. Núñez Jr. as Jamal Jeffries, a basketball star becoming a female impersonator and joining women's basketball, after being banned from men's basketball. The film also stars Vivica A. Fox, Kevin Pollak, Tommy Davidson, Kim Wayans, Ginuwine, and J. Don Ferguson. The movie was written by Bradley Allenstein and produced by Bill Gerber. The movie opened in theaters on June 21, 2002. The movie was filmed in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Charlotte Coliseum and the Independence Arena. The movie's soundtrack features music by Diana Ross, James Brown, Mystikal, Ginuwine, Lil' Kim and Stevie Wonder. The movie's soundtrack was score composed by Basil Poledouris and Wendy & Lisa.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jesse Vaughan|
|Produced by||James G. Robinson|
David C. Robinson
|Written by||Bradley Allenstein|
|Starring||Miguel A. Núñez Jr.|
Vivica A. Fox
J. Don Ferguson
|Music by||Basil Poledouris|
Wendy & Lisa
|Edited by||Seth Flaum|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$13.8 million|
Jamal Jeffries (Miguel A. Núñez Jr.) is a UBA (fictional version of the NBA) basketball star whose undisciplined on-and-off-court antics have earned him a bad reputation in the basketball community. Jamal is dropped from his team, the Charlotte Beat (parody of the Charlotte Hornets), and suspended indefinitely after he strips naked in protest of being taken out of a game. His agent, Lorne Daniels (Kevin Pollak), is unsuccessful at finding him a new team, and decides to cut Jamal as a client. As a result, Jamal's life goes downhill: his endorsements drop him, he ends up bankrupt due to lavish spending, his belongings are repossessed, his mansion is foreclosed on, his girlfriend Tina (Lil' Kim), who only put up with his antics for his money and fame, walks out on him and he becomes homeless.
Jamal, now deprived of his career and fortunate, goes to live with his no-nonsense Aunt Ruby (Jenifer Lewis), the only person that doesn't put up with Jamal's outrageous antics. Lacking any other sort of skills, he decides to dress up as a woman named "Juwanna Mann" to play for the Charlotte Banshees (parody of the Charlotte Sting) of the WUBA (fictional version of the WNBA). Aunt Ruby reluctantly agrees to help him with his charade as does Lorne who has no choice after Jamal reveals himself to be Juwanna. In a scene involving the team physical, Jamal has to disguise himself as the team mascot in order to avoid being found out by the team physician.
Jamal quickly becomes a star on the court, and his overall attitude changes drastically as well. He learns to play with a team rather than just himself. While becoming successful with the Banshees, Jamal also finds himself in a problematic relationship with his teammate Michelle (Vivica A. Fox), whom he has romantic feelings for but cannot act on because Michelle knows him only as her confidante, Juwanna. His situation is further complicated as Michelle is involved in a romantic relationship with Rapper Romeo (Ginuwine) (who ends up cheating on her) while Jamal (as Juwanna) is busy warding off the amorous advances of Romeo's hyper sidekick Puff Smokey Smoke (Tommy Davidson).
Eventually, Jamal is given a chance to return to the men's league, but the hearing takes place at the same time as the Banshee's first playoff game. After much debate, Jamal decides to do the selfless thing and stick with the Banshees and help them win. Jamal's cover is blown at the end of the game when Jamal decides to dunk the winning basket and shatters the backboard. In all the excitement, Jamal loses his wig, revealing that he is in fact Jamal Jeffries. Jamal is fired from the team, and the Banshees, devastated at the betrayal, begin to suffer on the court as a result.
Jamal, seeing this, decides to try to make things right again, and enters the Banshees' locker room during another game's halftime to apologize for the lies and tell them that playing with them had changed his views and attitude about basketball, women, and life in general. His ex-teammates (especially Michelle) are initially still furious at him, but end up accepting Jamal's genuine apology, which also inspires the team to win the playoffs and eventually the WUBA championship.
Afterwards, Jamal is called in for a hearing with the UBA's commission board. Despite the genuine apology and assurance by himself and Lorne that he has changed for the better, the board is still unimpressed due to the Juwanna scandal, and it first appears that Jamal's playing career is truly done for. However, his former WUBA teammates show up and successfully vouch for him to be brought back into the league, and Michelle gives him a championship ring and a kiss.
Jamal Jeffries is reinstated into the UBA and returns to action with his old team, a better player and person.
- Miguel A. Núñez Jr. as Jamal Jefferies/Juwanna Mann
- Vivica A. Fox as Michelle Langford
- Kevin Pollak as Lorne Daniels
- Ginuwine as Romeo
- Tommy Davidson as Puff Smokey Smoke
- J. Don Ferguson as UBA Referee
- Jenifer Lewis as Aunt Ruby
- Kim Wayans as Latisha Jansen
- Lil' Kim as Tina Parker
- Annie Corley as Coach Rivers
- Tammi Reiss as Vickie Sanchez
- Heather Quella as Magda Rowonowitch
- Itoro Coleman as Debbie Scruggs
- Rasheed Wallace as Whitley
- Vlade Divac as Morse
- Dikembe Mutombo as Coyner
- Muggsy Bogues as Andrew Stewart
- Ric Reitz as Beat coach
- Omar Dorsey as Rickey
- Cynthia Cooper, Teresa Weatherspoon, Katy Steding, Jeanne Zelasko, Chris Myers, Roy Firestone, Kevin Frazier, Kenny Albert, Jay Leno as themselves
Juwanna Mann was not well received by critics, earning a 10% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The site's consensus is that "With its tired premise, Juwanna Mann's jokes fall flat."
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