Think Like a Man
There’s a whole world of self-help books out there. Most of them are used to treat depression, addiction, and most mental disorders. Then there are self-help books for relationships. I’m not going to give my opinion on using them, because I’ve never read any of them. When I’m looking for advice on romance, I’ll turn to a great movie or book, and learn from example. Since I don’t read advice books, then you already know I never read Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment. The book was penned by TV personality Steve Harvey. I don’t know how his book was a bestseller (wouldn’t most people want these kinds of books written by psychologists, not actors?), but I guess it caught attention from Hollywood. Out came the adaptation, Think Like a Man.
Assembled with an ensemble African American cast, this romance comedy feels more like a giant salute to his novel then it does a genuine love story. Steve Harvey even plays himself as he gives advice to the women (and audience) on how to win the game of love. The first problem already comes in the first ten minutes. The women are too beautiful for this story. They could get the guys they want in a week. Couldn’t the filmmakers have tried to find more ordinary actresses instead of models? Or if they were going to keep these actresses, at least try to de-beautify them? I guess Hollywood must be short on black actresses. They all claim to be troubled by the kind of men they’re dating. They’re too stupid. They can’t commit. They only want sex.
This is the other problem. I’ve seen stories like this before. Each of these romances the couples go through has been done to death. I guess they thought It would be original to paggage them together into one. It only makes it more clique.
The saving factor in this do-over of a romance is the comedic performance by Kevin Hart. Sort of acting as the center of the men’s group, he throws out commentary on his friends and their problems. At the same time, he’s currently going through a divorce and adds his words on the situation. I laughed in every scene he appeared in, no matter how stupid it got. It’s too bad he’s only a supporting character. I’ve seen Hart on Modern Family and in Little Fockers. He’s proven to be very funny. Why hasn’t he gotten his own movie yet?
Think Like a Man thinks it’s paying tribute to the book. But what it really does is point out all the problems of Harvey’s advice. I find it hard to believe that every single woman would read his book (according to the movie, it’s even been read in book groups). Even if the movie’s a success, this is going to hurt sales on the real life guide.
I'll give this two and a half real self help romance books out of five. Instead of two hours of clique romance, I want to see an entire movie with Kevin Hart. At least he can use his scenes as stepping stones.