When I walked past a flier for this I was like, “I would TOTALLY listen to that album.” And then I realized it was a rom-com and Latifah would probably play some unlikely, put-upon “big girl” that catches the handsome man holding the basketball because he’s the basketball player that everyone wants or something. I like Queen ‘Mo of Closet-Town Latifah as much as the next person, but I would like to see her play a tough bitch whose hetero-ness isn’t so aggressively emphasized in just one role. Her tough bitch character in Chicago still wore a bustier and shook it in front of male audiences (I know, lesbians can wear bustiers and shake it, too). And particularly in every comedy she’s been in with a black supporting cast, it’s more-or-less understood that there isn’t going to be any gay signaling to the audience.
And yes, it’s pretty insensitive to point at someone – no matter how famous or how indisputably a lesbian they are – and say Hey, you should make some very public career-defining choices because you’re gay and now you have to be a spokesperson for it even though you never made the decision to come out of the closet yet. But these movies that she’s in – in addition to being not great – kinda sell her short. I don’t think Queen Latifah is the great underappreciated actor of our generation but the woman definitely has her niche and (despite not seeing it yet and probably not ever seeing it) I don’t think Latifah as the rom-com love interest of an NBA star is that niche.