‘Think Like a Man’ Movie Review
There’s a danger in ensemble comedies: if there are too many couples seeking a happily ever after, two hours is just not enough time to give each of them proper attention. Having four main couples and at least two minor ones, Think Like a Man did fall into that trap, but still managed to keep its audience laughing thanks to some stellar comedic performances and a few seriously hot shirtless men. Call it chick flick fluff, but in this case, it only worked to the movie’s advantage.
Based on Steve Harvey’s book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” the movie revolves around four men getting involved with four women, each of whom have read the titular book and have decided to use it in order to have the kind of relationship that they’ve always wanted. When the men find out they’ve been subtly manipulated, they turn around and use the book against the girls, but will acting like a man do anything but alienate the ladies they’ve come to cherish?
Leading the cast are Michael Ealy (with the eyes of a bedroom god) and Taraji P. Henson (surprisingly a bit over-the-top, especially for an Oscar nominee). Theirs is the story of a wealthy woman who falls for a poor dreamer, a very modern concept, but although their scenes were the steamiest by far, they almost seemed out of place amongst the other, relatively tame couples, one of whom didn’t even get a romantic scene.
Again, the problem with having too many people is that you can’t fully explore what makes each of these people tick. There are some stock characters….the Player, the Mama’s Boy, the Single Mother, etc…but in a film with less happening, those ideas could have been fleshed out and really explored. It’s a shame because the movie is full of great actors; I wanted to see them given more to work with than they were.
By far, the performance that garnered the most laughs was Kevin Hart playing the not-so-happily divorced dude who helps/hinders his single pals through their relationship crises. Straight-up comedians have a license to go crazy, and Hart bites into the role like a kid goes after candy. Without him, the film would have lacked a lot of laughs. There is something funny in seeing our own relationship mistakes parodied on screen, but the honest truth can also make one cringe.
I think that’s what the movie does the best. It hits on some painful truths about men and women and relationships in general. No doubt Steve Harvey’s book sales will sky-rocket because everyone wants a field guide to dating, especially one that will make you chuckle.
This is the kind of film you watch at the Arclight with your girlfriends at a 21+ showing with a cocktail in your hand. It’s sweet and funny with plenty of eye candy, but it also might make you reconsider every failed romance you’ve ever had.
Think Like a Man is out in theaters nationwide today, April 20th.