The Score: Think Like A Man

Friday, Apr 20, 2012 12:30PM

Written by J. Bachelor

Watch Trailer
  • Think Like A Man
  • Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union
  • April 20, 2012
Newsday 2.5/4
New York Post 1/4
The Washington Post 2.5/4
Detroit News 7/10
Screen It 6/10

Get ready to put your thinking caps on: Think Like a Man, the motion picture based on Steve Harvey's bestselling relationship advice book, has finally made its way to theaters.

The film explores love, dating and commitment with a hilarious twist as the ensemble cast finds each of their characters risking it all for true romance.

"Think Like a Man" looks at the love lives of a group of mostly African-Americans in Los Angeles -- breaking them into a series of matchups: There's the Mama's Boy (Terrence J) versus the Single Mom (Regina Hall); the Dreamer (Michael Ealy) versus the Woman Who Is Her Own Man (Taraji P. Henson); and the Non-Committer (Jerry Ferrara) versus the Ring Girl (Gabrielle Union). The film also pits the Player (Romany Malco) versus the 90-Day Girl (Meagan Good) -- 90 days is how long she's supposed to "keep the cookie in the cookie jar." That last gem says it all about this movie's coy substitutes for love, lust or wit.(NY Post)

The film attempts to categorize the type of men women may encounter during their quest for a significant other, while  women seen in the film also present a few issues of their own.

Those clichés come rolling out right at the beginning of the movie as men and women are broken into categories -- "The Dreamer," "The Player," "The Momma's Boy," etc. We are introduced to a group of basketball-playing friends, each of whom exemplifies one of these clichés, and they in turn are matched up with a female cliché. For the most part, we never learn what these men or women do for a living. Actually, we learn next to nothing about them beyond their romantic roles.(Detroit News)

With the guidance of Harvey's book, the challenge is on as both sexes try to outwit the other in a war of love games.

The tables turn on the women when the guys learn that they have been reading Harvey's book, and they begin using the various chapters to get what they want. All the while, their newly divorced friend Cedric (Kevin Hart) is chomping at the bit to get back onto the dating scene and he frequently gives them hilariously wrong-headed advice about how to deal with their relationships. (Screenit)

In addition to Meagan Good and Taraji P. Henson, the cast includes 106 and Park host Terrence J, actor Michael Ealy and comedians Gary Owen and Kevin Hart.

How did director Story and screenwriters Keith Merryman and David A. Newman ("Friends With Benefits") squeeze an enjoyable film out of this? By retaining Harvey's archetypes but getting creative about humanizing the people wearing the labels. The guys consist of the Player (Romany Malco), the Mama's Boy (Terrence J), the Dreamer (Michael Ealy), the Non-Committer (Jerry Ferrara), the Happily Married Guy (Gary Owen) and the Happily Divorced Guy (Kevin Hart). (LA Times)

Reviews are mixed with this film. While some find it a charming comedy couples may enjoy, others say it can easily be misconstrued as a vehicle to further promote Harvey's anthology of relationship advice.

As with most of those pictures, there's a promotional impulse driving Think Like a Man. It's a little more blatant here, with everyone holding up Steve Harvey's book for the camera at one point or another -- including Steve Harvey. All that winking makes it sort of a two-hour infomercial, but a decently amusing one.(NPR)
Director Tim Story ("Barbershop") juggles this potentially clunky material quite deftly, and the bumps are smoothed over by the appealing cast. (Even Chris Brown, in a cameo, seems likable again.) And despite the hard sell, there's absolutely no obligation to buy Harvey's book.(Newsday)

Check out a trailer for "Think Like A Man" below:

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