So I watched Think Like A Man…
I’m personally a huge fan of Steve Harvey. My YouTube history is filled with clips from his talk show and Family Feud. I think he’s a genuinely funny guy and has been something of a messiah to women who were struggling in the romance department. Now I say messiah, most men would say ‘traitor’. Apparently Steve spilled a bunch of secrets that only men were meant to know and now women have the upperhand in the game of love. I still think Steve is great and love that his book – Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man – inspired such an entertaining movie.
Okay, basic plot: A group of five male friends – Cedric, Dominic, Michael, Jeremy, Zeke – suddenly find themselves at war with the respective women in their lives. Dominic (Michael Ealy) is having trouble living up to the expectations of Lauren (Taraji P. Henson) – a corporate titan looking for a man who’s bank balance matches her own. Michael (Terrence J) has to find a balance between keeping his new girlfirned, Candance (Regina Hall), and his over-bearing mother happy. Man-child Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) is forced out of puberty when his long-term girlfriend Kristen (Gabrielle Union) starts demanding a serious commitment from him. Zeke (Romany Malco) who is only looking for a good time finds himself frustrated when his lady – Mya (Meagan Good – tells him that his ‘good time’ will only come after 90 days. Finally Cedric (Kevin Hart) is looking to cut loose now that his divorce is finalised but still finds himself butting heads with his soon-to-be ex-wife.
This film is a great date movie because of the insight it provides into the world of dating. Each of the lead characters is placed into a broad category depending on their relationship style. For instance Michael is a “mama’s boy” while Zeke is a “player”. Each of these categories comes with a set of challenges and the women are forced to turn to Steve Harvey’s book to learn how to overcome these challenges and build lasting relationships. I remember when I first watched this film, it was with my girlfriend at the time and she thought I fit into one of the abovementioned five categories. I obviously didn’t agree but the debate it sparked was fun and interesting and further added to our enjoyment of the film.
The book upon which this film is based was geared towards women and helping them figure out the men in their lives; but this film manages to provide insight into both sexes. The men find out that the women in their lives have all been reading this book and are now able to counter the strategies that it suggests. So both men and women are provided a roadmap to help traverse the unknown landscape that being in love can be. There’s also sporadic appearances by Steve Harvey as himself where he dishes out knowledge which I truly loved. I think Steve Harvey becoming a bestselling author is due to the fact that there was clearly a need for this information and this film doing so well at the box-office further highlights that need.
Now luckily this film isn’t just a visual self-help book, it’s a romantic comedy first with particular emphasis on the comedy. Led by Kevin Hart, this film’s cast had me in stitches. I think this film came along just as the Kevin Hart Bubble was about to pop. We’d seen Hart in minor roles, he’d already released a few standup specials but I think this movie is what made people think of him as a comedic leading man as much as a comedian. He has this fast-paced idiocy which I really enjoyed and his character has this detachment from the main storyline which allows Hart to run wild as pure comic relief. The rest of the cast do well individually and in their respective couple sets. I particularly enjoyed Romany Malco and Meagan Good’s chemistry together.
The place where this film falters is in its reliance on a formulaic plot. Classifying the members of the cast into their different dating categories and having random pop-ups of Steve Harvey were really innovative and made the movie feel fresh and exciting. However, you can tell exactly where the story is going every step of the way. There’s never any moments of originality or shock as you watch the film unfold but it’s presented in a fun and humourous way so the lack of originality becomes a minor issue.
Overall, Think Like a Man is a great movie to watch with someone you’re romantically involved in. Obviously you may not fit into any of the categories but most likely you have shades of a few in you and this will lead to interesting discussions with your partner. It’s funny, might teach you something and has a stellar cast. Definitely worth watching 8/10