Today! Because this is Ghana. You, my friend, are shooting for the Sudan –
White Men Can’t Jump (1992)
Directed by Ron Shelton
Starring Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson (x2), Rosie Perez, Kadeem Hardison, Tyra Ferrell, John Marshall Jones, Ernest Harden Jr., Alex Trebek, Donald Fullilove (x2)
The king of Costner-based sports comedy (Bull Durham, Tin Cup) Ron Shelton delivered one of the funniest basketball movies ever – nothing else immediately comes to mind…Space Jam? I’m not sure how popular this movie was in its day, but it was on HBO all the time, and at just the right time for this guy. There’s a reason 1992 is the most represented year on this list – so far, and in total – and that’s my exposure to it. Also, it was a legitimately great movie year, but a lot of middling movies are still finding their way onto this list in the early going.
Woody and Wesley are terrific together, and was there ever another great comedic performance from Rosie Perez? Sure, she’s solid in Do the Right Thing, and got nominated for an Oscar for Fearless (which I’ll go ahead and admit I’ve never seen), but this is her perfect all-time role here, as Billy’s trivia maven girlfriend, bound for Jeopardy and critical of his increasingly stupid choices. She knows six foods that start with the letter Q!
The basketball sequences are slick, and the movie is endlessly quotable – why isn’t White Men Can’t Jump more a universal classic at this point? The wildly ’90s clothes? The slightly racist title? Nonsense! It’s a slam dunk! And Rosie Perez is the MVP! Sports metaphors!
(As a complete, location specific side note: Perez appeared on a very short-lived CBS sitcom entitled WIOU in the ’90-’91 season, which was convenient for us in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, as the call letters for the CBS affiliate, then and now, are WYOU. What if it had been on NBC – WBRE or ABC – WNEP?? Chaos! This paragraph is intended for NEPA residents and expats only, and should rightfully be disregarded by all others.)
MTV Movie award nominations aside, Perez did snag a Chicago Film Critics Assocation nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and that is wholly justified! But no other awards? Not a Best Hook Shot from Beyond Half Court? Name another one, in a major Hollywood film! Gary Cooper’s hook shot was garbarge! Also, Best Dog’s Ass Metaphor, because the sun even shines on it sometimes.
Sure, Woody Harrelson joining the Two-Timers list, following his cameo in #368’s Anger Management, is worthy of acknowledgement, and he’ll pop up again in the future, but one of the main reasons I include this Two-Timers list is to shoutout actors who might not be on the tip of everyone’s tongues, but are fully deserving of accolade, and so, in a helluva unplanned coincidence, for the second day in a row, Hill Valley mayor Goldie Wilson himself Donald Fullilove!
Coming tomorrow! I’ve been a lab rat. I know when I see one –