Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review of THINK LIKE A MAN (2012)

- Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some crude humor, and brief drug use.
- Starring Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Romany Malco, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Meagan Good, Taraji P. Henson, Steve Harvey
- Written by Keith Merryman & David A. Newman (based on the book by Steve Harvey)
- Directed by Tim Story
- Running time: 2hrs 1min

This is a pretty typical multi-character romantic comedy. The premise is that Steve Harvey has written a book called Think Like a Man, and we see how this effects four couples. All four of the guys are friends. Dominic is the dreamy-eyed dreamer who longs to be chef, Jeremy has been with the same girl for years but has no intention of committing, Michael's mom always comes first in his love life, and Zeke is a womanizing playboy. Dom meets a strongheaded business woman who is sick of dating immature (and broke) guys. Jeremy's girlfriend is sick of his childishness. Michael meets a single mom who needs someone who will put her first. And Zeke meets a woman who wants to find a man who wants more than just sex, so puts him to the 90-day no sex test. All the girls read the Steve Harvey book in order to keep the relationship in their control, and it works... except when the guys figure out the game. Then they read the book too, and turn the game around on the girls.

There's nothing really original about this, but the actors really made it work. It's surprisingly funny. Credit goes to the male leads, as they display a likable and believable bond between them. Just seeing them sitting at a bar and just discussing relationship issues was entertaining. The dialogue is smart and funny. Kevin hart plays the guys' best friend who is going through a divorce and offers more of the silliest moments of the film. The actresses also attribute themselves wonderfully. Gabrielle Union (I can't believe she's 40, because she looks 25!) is terrific in this as Jeremy's longtime girlfriend. Never thought I would ever see a hot black girl wearing a nerdy Voltron shirt in my lifetime!

Yeah, the movie is cliched, and you can pretty much guess what's going to happen. But the enjoyment of this film is watching the characters hang out and interact with each other. Director Tim Story (Barbershop and the Fantastic Four movies), does a good job balancing the comedy and drama, much better than Tyler Perry (who usually overdoes both). If you like a good battle-of-the-sexes movie, it's definitely worth your time.

*** (out of ****)

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