October 15, 2012

Think Like A Man (2012)

Taraji P. Henson [aka that chick from Hustle and Flow] Gabrielle Union, Turtle from Entourage, and a bunch of people who look familiar but you don't know their real names

I want to start by saying I was very skeptical to watch a movie based on a book by Steve Harvey, but I take my reader recommendations seriously. I mean, this is the guy who hosts Family Feud! Am I really going to take relationship advice from him? You know who else hosted Family Feud? Al, from Home Improvement! Would you read a relationship advice book from him? Anyway, Steve Harvey's book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man has a ridiculous-sounding title. For some reason it sort of offends me - perhaps because it reminds me of a certain Ludacris lyric?

But this is a review of the movie, not the book. And begrudgingly, I admit it was pretty funny. Much like the 2009 movie He's Just Not That Into You, this movie assigns each character a chapter from the book. It also packs the same number of stars into the cast, making the viewing of the movie turn into a giant game of "where have I seen that actor before?" If I had just IMDB'ed the cast beforehand, I probably would have relaxed and enjoyed the movie a bit more. But I realize that's a personal problem.

What makes this ensemble cast different from the others I've ripped apart is its ability to give each character a legitimate story line. It doesn't pack in so many stars that the movie becomes a balance between giving everyone their five minutes of screen time to legitimize the salary they are being paid and making the movie a breezy two hours long (you know who you are, New Year's Eve). The movie is instead limited to four main couples, each with distinct relationship issues so the viewer isn't forced to keep copious mental notes to remember who's problems are whose. What also helps is its ability to relate to real life. Again, like He's Just Not That Into You, the movie highlights relationship issues familiar to a lot of people, making the jokes accessible and funny to a wide audience.

And I don't mean to keep harping on the issue of race, but I couldn't help but notice that this movie even incorporated an interracial couple as main characters! (And not like more "mainstream friendly" interracial like African-American and Asian, Caucasian and Asian, or really, anyone with an Asian girl because Hollywood seems to think that is most believable... but straight up black/white.) Though I am disappointed that none of the characters were Hispanic, Asian, or even Indian (poor Indians never get any roles - no wonder they created their own Hollywood!), I do commend the director for actually integrating color (or in this case, non-color) into the cast without making the character's race itself a plot point.

As a closing thought, I want to point out that this girl is way too cute for the guys she keeps getting paired with in movies. I thought it in my last movie review, but seeing it again here just solidified the un-justness of it all.

Final word: A rom-com even guys can enjoy without having to pretend they didn't. Added bonus: Katherine Heigl was nowhere to be found!

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