THINK LIKE A MAN is a crowded yet very entertaining examination of relationships

Steve Harvey possibly divided men from the boys, and then males from females in the war zone of dating in writing, “Act like a Lady, Think like a Man.” The self-help book helps women get the most from their relationships or start one by using the thought process of how a man typically approaches relationships. No matter how you feel about the subject matter, the book made a big impact on people. Odds are good that you loved it, hated it, discussed it with friends and family (even if you never read it), or lived and died by this book’s rules as if it were the Holy Bible. The movie’s plot line takes the ideas of the book and presents them in a nice and tidy window to modern relationships for better and for worse.

THINK LIKE A MAN is about a group of men, clearly defined within established personas from the book including “Happily Divorced” or “Mama’s Boy” offering their bachelorhood insights and having dates with likewise labeled women such as the “Independent Woman” or “Single Mother.” The men are all friends whereas the women are connected to each other by each reading Harvey’s book. The women, armed with the new knowledge, disrupt the plans of the men until said book finds its way to their camp where the battle is reversed by counteroffensive tactics including avoiding the talk and feigning an image to impress a woman. Now with many romantic comedies, you may be able to guess where this will lead by the conclusion.

I do not regularly watch romantic comedies. I typically avoid them whenever possible at home, however I was interested in this movie for a few reasons: a multicultural leading cast, Kevin Hart, and curiosity about how a movie will approach a self-help book. On all three of my curiosities, this movie succeeded in entertaining me.

Kevin Hart’s biting comedy helps string together the movie’s vignette narrative while showing some character development throughout the way. You will miss it because you are laughing too hard. Hart is, well, seriously funny. He could have carried this movie on his own if it centered on his story. Between his humor and the cameo appearance by who plays his wife (which among other cameos are pitch perfect) is just fireworks in laughter.

The other gem of this movie is Meagan Good’s character that takes us through the merit and fallacy of the “90-day rule” where a person holds out sex from someone they are dating for at least 90 days. Good carried that role really well, as did Romany Malco (from “40-Year Old Virgin”) as the “player” counterpart. This plot line could carry the movie too however with multiple stories in two hours you only get small doses. I did not feel each plot went as far as it could have gone. The movie is a little crowded for my taste.

The book that started …. THIS.

On top of the crowding, the movie glosses over what it means for women to think like men. I get on this topic because in many discussions about the book and about life in general, this is a heated topic and a very deep one too. Possible topics the movie could have taken include role reversal, modernization of relationships and the question of whether the dating scene has gone to hell or is just more no holds barred—take your pick, but I didn’t feel any of that from the movie. Should the movie had some more meat into this aspect, it would be one of the greats.

On a minor note, the movie entered into the standard rom-com formula in its second hour after a really good and unique set up from the first hour. I do not feel there were tangible and weighty consequences that mirrored reality by the movie’s end. Recognizing the movie as a comedy, I can bend on this factor a little but not by much.

THINK LIKE A MAN is a good movie that could have been that great movie people will talk about for years. Despite its issues, the entertainment of the multiple stories and Kevin Hart (yeah, it’s rare I say one man is reason alone to see a movie but damn it, that is the case this time) carry this movie to a solid showing.

FINAL ANSWER:

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