I am a self-professed Steve Harvey skeptic. What do I look like taking relationship advice from a man who has paid three different divorce lawyers? Should I also ask a failed chef how to make a sandwich? Then the “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” author and executive producer of the upcoming film Think Like A Man beat me to the punch.
"Failure is a wonderful teacher," Harvey told "CBS This Morning" host Gayle King on April 9. "I've failed enough times to know how to get it right. I know all the mistakes I made, and I know all the mistakes women allowed me to make. And I put them in a book for you."
I still don’t believe in relationship experts, a title which Harvey denounces during the aforementioned interview, but title or not, Harvey’s tapping into that realm with Think Like A Man, hitting theaters on April 20. His advice aside, the script and cast present an enjoyable chick flick. Like 2001’s cat and mouse-esque Two Can Play That Game starring Vivica Fox and Morris Chestnut, Think Like A Man shows Romany Malco, Kevin Hart, Jesse Ferrara, Michael Ealy and Terrence J. dating women, played by Meagan Good, Wendy Williams, Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson and Regina Hall, who boil down to examples from Harvey’s tome. The one night stand reformer, the controlling wife, the woman looking for commitment, the career woman and the single mom face off with their male stereotypical counterparts including the ladies’ man, the unhappy husband, the non-committer, the dreamer and the mama’s boy, respectively.
The film opens with the women catching a Steve Harvey TV interview where he’s giving advice from his book “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” to the studio audience. Ultimately, he implores the women without standards to “get some” because that’s what men respect. Intrigued, the women buy the book and enact action plans to reform their dating lives while the men feel attacked by questions like ‘What are you long-term goals?’ and eventually realize the girls are working from the same playbook. Purchasing “Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” for themselves, the men turn the tables on the women and hi-jinks ensue.
I won’t spoil the film for you. But if you strip away the idea that all women aren’t looking for relationships or traditional family structures — sorry Gloria Steinem — then Think Like A Man is a fun watch. From Hart’s timely jokes about his size and fighting with his ex-wife to Malco’s consistent digs on all of his friends, the film’s got great comedic flow. The casting—for the most part—worked although it took some time to believe Union would actually give Ferrara the time of day, let alone want to marry him. Ealy and Henson served up the best chemistry—the sexy actor even licks chocolate from Henson's leg in one scene. Ealy is obviously a handsome man, but something about an earnest guy who cooks breakfast after a steamy night takes me back to Larenz Tate’s turn as Darius Lovehall in Love Jones— and this is a good thing.
Boasting an almost all Black cast, Think Like A Man avoids the pitfalls that many African-American romantic comedies tumble into by presenting such a formulaic script that there’s no need to finish the film. Fans of this genre know and expect the protagonists to reunite, and this film does an entertaining job of giving the crowd exactly what it wants.