I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Friday, April 20, 2012

Think Like A Man (2012)

I read Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, the women's relationship advice book written by comedian Steve Harvey some time ago.  Harvey's book consists mostly of common sense advice that most women have heard at one time or another.  Unfortunately, there is an undercurrent of sexism in the book, and it also shows up on screen in this lukewarm comedy.

The plot follows several people, and just in case the audience can't differentate between them, the characters are given labels such as "The Player" and "The Woman Who Is Her Own Man".  Couple number one is Meghan Good and Romany Malco.  She wakes up and realizes sleeping with every guy who gives her the eye is not leading to true love.  This is especially true when her latest conquest (played by disgraced singer Chris Brown) does a love-'em-and-leave 'em move before breakfast.  Malco is a player who also just wants to hit and run.

The second couple is a high powered executive, played by Taraji P. Henson, who is wooed by a talented, but low-income cook played by Michael Ealy.  The third couple is Gabrielle Union and Jerry Ferrara, college sweethearts who have been together for nearly a decade, but the guy is nowhere near popping the question to his lady.  The fourth couple's story involves a single mom (Regina Hall) being pursued by a guy (Terrence J.) who seriously needs to cut his mom's (Jenifer Lewis) apron strings.  Other actors in the cast such as Kevin Hart and Gary Owen, serve to comment on the goings on. 

As stated in the book, women are expected to change themselves in order to get the man that they want.  The men are not exactly required to change, but it's assumed they will if only the women make adjustments.  In my opinion, that's assuming too much.  I especially wasn't too crazy about Henson's character being painted as difficult, picky, and in danger of being an old maid because she expected a man to be at her professional, social and financial level.  Good's character is penalized early on because the old "women can't do what men do in relationships and still be ladies" thought.  But the behavior of Malco's player character is treated like, well, boys will be boys. 

Harvey appears here and there to repeat advice from his book at certain points in the plot.  There are cameos by Morris Chestnut (Boys In The Hood) and talk show host Wendy Williams.  A few laughs appear here and there, mainly supplied by comedian Hart, and Nephew Tommy (Harvey's sidekick on his morning radio show) had a line that got a roar out of the audience with whom I saw the film.  But this is just a standard romantic comedy, using another battle of the sexes plot, which doesn't add anything new to the genre.

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