It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Let us now consider predictability. Most of the time, I consider it an insult to the audience. We can sense when a movie is on autopilot, and we wonder, not unreasonably, why the filmmakers couldn't be bothered to try a little harder. Then a movie like "Juwanna Mann" comes along and is predictable to its very core, and in a funny way the predictability is part of the fun. The movie is in on the joke of its own recycling.
How predictable is it? It begins with a pro basketball star who is thrown out of the league (he gets so angry at a referee's call that he takes off all of his clothes and flashes the audience). He's faced with foreclosure, bankruptcy and the loss of all his commercial endorsements, is fired by his manager, and has no skills except the ability to play basketball. In desperation, he dresses in drag and passes himself off as "Juwanna Mann," a female player, and is soon a star of the women's pro basketball league.
With that information in mind, there are scenes we can all predict: (1) A date with an obnoxious man who doesn't know Juwanna is female. (2) Weird times in the shower. (3) A crush on a beautiful teammate who likes Juwanna as a friend but of course doesn't realize she's a man. (4) Unruly erections. (5) Ill-disciplined falsies. We can also predict that Juwanna will lead her team into the finals, become a big star, learn useful lessons about human nature, be faced with a crisis and exposure, and emerge as a better person, all of her problems solved, while the team wins the big game.
These predictable scenes are, I submit, inevitable. There is no way to make this movie without them--not as a comedy, anyway. So the pleasure, if any, must come from the performances, not the material. Up to a point, it does. Although "Juwanna Mann" is not a good movie, it isn't a painful experience, and Miguel A. Nunez Jr. is plausible as Juwanna, not because he is able to look like a woman, but because he is able to play a character who thinks he can look like a woman.