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Juwanna Mann

Juwanna Man
2002's Juwanna Man is a dumb and unbelievably predictable comedy
that worked much better when it was called Tootsie.

Jamal Jefferies is a cocky professional basketball superstar who gets kicked out of the NBA after his on court antics get out of hand. With no other options, he decides to disguise himself as a woman named Juwana Mann and join a woman's pro basketball team called the Carolina Banshees, which, of course, leads to all kinds of complications, primarily his attraction to Michelle, the captain of the team.

Screenwriter Bradley Allen, who also wrote the dreadful Who's Your Caddy? should have just given the screenwriters of Tootsie some kind off onscreen credit for this story. Other than the fact that this film takes place in the world of professional sports instead of the world of daytime television, t6he stories are pretty much identical. Michelle even has a cheating boyfriend, just like the Dabney Coleman character in Tootsie, who was cheating on Jessica Lange with Geena Davis.

The story stretches credibility to the nth degree as there are too many situations that occur where Jamal should have been caught and the story sheepishly protects the character in order to give us a feature length film. Somehow the guy never has to take a shower with his female teammates and when he has to take physical required by the team, he sneaks out of the office in a giant chicken suit and escapes and it is never addressed. It's just lazy writing, though I did like the scene where Jamal's ruse comes to light, but by then, we've already been through too much stuff that was hard to believe.

The casting of Miguel A Nunez in the title role didn't really help either. This actor has been in the business since the mid 1980's, but mostly as a supporting actor and there's a reason for that, which comes shining through here. Nunez doesn't have the chops to carry a film and, honestly, I suspect the main reason he got this role is because he's tall and looked like a basketball player. Must admit how different this film might have been if somebody like Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Kevin Hart, or Chris Tucker had played Jamal.

The supporting cast is nothing special, with the exceptions of Kevin Pollak as Jamal's agent and Tommy Davidson as a rapper named Puff Smokey Smoke who falls hard for Juwanna. In a nutshell, 90 minutes of my life I'll never get back.