[rating=3]Starring: Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J., Jenifer Lewis, Romany Malco, Gary Owen, Gabrielle Union, Chris Brown, Wendy Williams
Director(s): Tim Story
Writer(s): Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, from the book by Steve Harvey
Can’t tell the players without a scorecard, and Think Like A Man has a long lineup:
Michael (Terrence J.) is the mama’s boy who will get involved with the single mom Candace (Regina Hall).
Dominic (Michael Ealy) is the very talented chef who dreams of opening his own restaurant some day who connects with Taraji P. Hanson’s “Lauren”, a businesswoman who is COO of the company she works for and wants a man who is over six feet tall, earns over six figures and is her equal in other areas.
Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) has been with his long-time girlfriend Kristen (Gabrielle Union) for a long-time, but still can’t commit. Not to marriage and not to advancing his own career, apparently because he’s afraid he might try and fail.
Zeke (Romany Malco) is the ’player’ of the group and he finds himself having to work harder than ever to close the deal with Mya (Meagan Good).
The four guys are all friends, and play basketball every Thursday with Cedric (Kevin Hart) who is in the process of divorcing his wife Gail (Wendy Williams), while Bennett (Gary Owen) is still happily married and unafraid to not only admit it, but thrives in the fact he can’t stay out as late as his unmarried friends, because that loving wife is waiting at home.
All four women come into possession of the new book by comedian/TV Host/Radio Host Steve Harvey entitled “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” Advice for women on how to get men to become husbands rather than boyfriends. After all, “boys shack while men build homes.” And when these four relationships begin, the women are using the knowledge within the book to their advantage.
The men are not happy, as their desires are not fulfilled. Nor are they getting help anywhere else. Michael’s mother calls Candace by other names, and generally does anything she can to express her disapproval of this woman. Since the book requires that a man make the woman the #1 woman in his life, that’s not going to work out well for them.
But the worm turns when the guys discover who’s betrayed all of their secrets. They get together, compare notes about the questions their women have been posing and discover that Steve Harvey has thrown them under the bus, just to sell a few thousand books. So the men wise up, get their own copies of the book and start using the plays contained within for their own benefit.
It is working. Working well. But like all great plans that are doomed to fail, there’s are flaws.
The flaw is that the women are smart enough to discover the tricks the men are playing. Eventually, all four relationships fall apart. The question becomes can any of them be saved, how many will be saved, and just how are the men going to work things out.
This is one funny movie. Kevin Hart as “Cedric” generates the most and the loudest of the laughs. His in your face, use anyone and anything attitude is just hysterical. Overall, the laughter was so loud in the packed auditiorium I missed a line here and there of the great dialogue penned by Merryman and Newman.
Tim Story’s direction is adequately paced, without pausing to milk the most obvious punchlines, a flaw that some comedy directors engage in. The women are lovely, the men handsome, the Los Angeles area (some in Culver City near the headquarters of Screen Gems parent Sony Entertainment) locations neat and clean and there’s an upscale feel to the entire project. Even the basketball scenes in what one would expect to be a sweaty, smelly gynmasium seem a bit too good to be true.
Think Like a Man is a winner. The ending may be a bit contrived and could have been improved upon, but the audience is far too busy laughing and applauding to worry over such minor details.
Run Time: 2 hrs., 2 mins.