THINK LIKE A MAN
**1/2 (out of 5)
April 20, 2012
Michael Ealy as DOMINIC
Jerry Ferrara as JEREMY
Meagan Good as MYA
Regina Hall as CANDACE
Kevin Hart as CEDRIC
Taraji P. Henson as LAUREN
Terrence Jenkins as MICHAEL
Romany Malco as ZEKE
Gabrielle Union as KRISTEN
Directed by: Tim Story
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
There was an interesting article on Vulture.com a week or so ago, which talked about how well “Think Like a Man” had been tracking with preview audiences. However, the question was asked whether it would transcend the black female audience and become a success. It was asserted that because the main characters in this film are men, and it’s not dealing directly with racial issues, that it was a perfect crossover movie.
I’ll let you in on a little secret about that statement… it’s not.
“Think Like a Man” may not be a Tyler Perry gospel play directed at a black Christian female audience – and the movie tries rather conspicuously several times to actually distance itself from Tyler Perry’s work – but with the exception of the Christian base, it is aimed exactly at that demographic.
The movie is based on Steve Harvey’s bestselling relationship book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” I suppose this is the new trend, with the hit “He’s Just Not That Into You” and the forthcoming “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” to spin self-help books into a romantic comedy. Here, it actually works to some degree, showing four guys as very typical stereotypes from Harvey’s book.
The men’s respective lady friend discovers Harvey’s book and tries to affect change in the relationship. When the guys find out what’s going on, they use this knowledge to manipulate as well.
As you can see, while there are men in this movie, this is a very female-centric film. It’s about men changing their dog ways to be better for their women. That’s not something that turns guys on, but boy does it ever get the female audience’s attention.
Add to this, the fact that the known actors in this film (including Gabrielle Union, the OMG hottie Meagan Good and Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson) are all women. The men have familiar faces, but their fame goes little beyond someone saying, “Hey, I saw that guy in that TV show a while back.”
That’s not to say that the film can’t be enjoyed by men as much as women. As a romantic comedy, it does stress the comedy. There’s some decent slapstick moments, and using Kevin Hart as the narrator and agitator of the group, we have some laugh-out-loud moments. When the movie was over, I remember saying, “Well, that wasn’t terrible.” (I’m sure Screen Gems will be calling any moment to put that pull-quote on their DVD cover box.)
I also give the film credit for attempting to expand beyond a black audience with some of the characters. Unfortunately, they are afterthoughts and tokens to the whole experience, and this will also hurt its crossover potential.
Still, with “Think Like a Man” going head-to-head with the Nicholas Sparks estrogen explosion “The Lucky One” opening weekend, it’s still the better date movie by a mile. At least this one has some intentional laughs behind it.