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September 17, 2012

3

Think Like a Man

by Franz Patrick


Think Like a Man (2012)
★★ / ★★★★

Based on the book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey, “Think Like a Man,” directed by Tim Story, featured a group of six friends who embodied a specific stage in a romantic life and their relationship with women who wanted more than what was typical or expected from a man. Although each of the guys were funny in their own right and they shared good chemistry as a group, only two of the six captured my interest. Dominic (Michael Ealy), The Dreamer, decided to change careers so abruptly, his girlfriend decided to leave because instability was the opposite of what she wanted from him. While working as a part-time chef, Dominic met the highly successful Lauren (Taraji P. Henson), chief operating officer of a company, by pretending to own one of the posh cars he was supposed to park due to a shortage of staff. Impressed by Dominic’s good looks, what he owned, and chic taste in wine, Lauren was ecstatic that she had finally found her “equal.” Unlike most of the romantic angles in the film, Dominic and Lauren’s relationship had meat we could sink our teeth into not only because the two came from different socioeconomic backgrounds but also in that there was an undercurrent of superiority that emanated from Lauren. I took pleasure in noticing the way her eyes evaluated, for example, Dominic’s real car, a poor man’s damaged mode of transport, something that belonged in a junkyard, not in front of a thriving company where her co-workers could see and associate her with it. She being uncomfortable, almost disgusted, said a lot about her but it did not necessarily reveal what she was entirely about. Lauren being a strong, independent woman, Henson did a nice job in not making her completely unlikable through moments of genuine vulnerability. Why shouldn’t a woman be allowed to wait for what she believed was right for her? In a lot of ways, I was able to relate to her high level of expectations. Although mine is less about material possessions and status, I sympathized with her growing anxiety of perhaps being too rigid and feeling disappointment when things didn’t go exactly as she had anticipated. She was a woman with a defined plan and I understood how difficult it was for her step out of it. We are alike in that once we set our minds on something, there are very few things that can derail what we set out to accomplish. The other relationship that was a cut above the rest involved Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara), The Non-Committer, and Kristen (Gabrielle Union). Kristen wanted to settle down and be committed in an adult relationship, but it seemed impossible because Jeremy seemed stuck in living like a frat boy with nerdy tendencies, like collecting anime posters and playing Call of Duty until two o’clock in the morning. Kristen wanted a change so badly, she redecorated the house and took down all of Jeremy’s collectibles without asking. Jeremy, a genuinely good and chill guy, took it all because he cared for her. Unlike Dominic and Lauren’s hot and (mostly) cold relationship, Jeremy and Kristen’s had a certain effortless tenderness even though they did not share a lot of scenes together. I was convinced that they had known each other since college because there was a calm in each of them, at least in front of one another, as tectonic plates in their relationship underwent critical changes. Based on the screenplay by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, since the writing in “Think Like a Man” was mostly weak and inefficient, its other potentially interesting characters were wasted, oftentimes reduced to delivering punchlines of jokes that weren’t especially amusing. Like a lot of the seemingly wise advice offered in the book, as a whole, the problems it tackled felt superficial.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sep 18 2012

    A must watch movies for those who are romantic and love to make fun. The movie does not have strong title but still a good movie to watch.

    Reply
  2. Sep 28 2012

    I enjoyed your review. Even though I suspect I my reaction to this film would be similar to yours, I like the fact that this made over $90 million dollars in the U.S. I’m sure nobody in Hollywood expected this picture to be so huge. This became a hit because I think it really resonated with a large group of the viewing public that often gets ignored. Sometimes it’s nice to see the underdog win. :-)

    Reply
    • Sep 28 2012

      I didn’t even know it made that much in the US. Hearing that is surprising to me. I think you made a good point: its success can (and should) open up new alleys for similar movies of its type. But, hopefully, better ones!

      Reply

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