Based on the book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by comedian Steve Harvey, the film Think Like a Man is an ensemble rom-com that distills the spirit of the New York Times’ bestseller (adapted by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman) into a pleasant and entertaining comedy.
At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to the (male) characters by their common ‘types’:
- MOMMA’S BOY (Terrence J),
- THE PLAYER (Romany Malco),
- THE NON-COMMITTAL (Jerry Ferrara), and
- THE DREAMER (Michael Ealy).
Rounding out the sextet are the HAPPILY MARRIED MAN (Gary Owen) and the HAPPIER DIVORCED MAN (Kevin Hart).
After the introductions, we see “love’s battlefield” play out in all its glory as the women* in the men’s lives (and apparently every other woman) use Harvey’s text to get what they want out of their relationships. The men soon catch on and decide to subvert the women’s plotting … well we know where this story is headed … Throw in a couple of surprise cameos for good measure, and you have a recipe for a fun night at the movies.
I surprised myself just at how much I laughed out loud at what I saw on screen. The film manages to develop several of the subplots while telling a larger story.
After the missteps into superhero land (Fantastic Four franchise), Tim Story does a good job at handling this comedic material.
On the acting side, I guess the point of an ensemble piece is that no one individual stands out among the rest. But in this film, the clearly Kevin Hart is at the center of what holds the story together.
If I were to point out any shortcomings I would just say this – it is a movie, so do not expect any real earth-shattering revelations about members of the opposing sex. Sometimes you just have to go with it and enjoy what you are watching on screen.
In the realm of cinematic ventures into romantic comedies, I’d say that this one holds up pretty well.
*The women are Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson.