There’s this game we like to play, where we take a movie we’re probably not going to see anyway (because it looks bad or it’s clearly not our demo or whatever), and try to experience it through others’ eyes, specifically, those of the embittered critics forced to paint us the picture. We don’t use their most scathing critiques or harsh analyses, no, because that would be too easy, and not as fun. Rather, we use the least analytical, most expository quotes we can find, just to soak up that faint air of passive-aggression. We already did one for the latest Zac Efron-starring Nicholas Sparks tale, but that ended up getting trounced at the box office by the schmaltzy infomercial for Steve Harvey’s new book, Think Like A Man. (Frankly I think Steve Harvey owes Kevin Hart a solid for that one).
Anyway, always wanted to know what Think Like a Man is about but were too apathetic to buy a ticket? READ ON!
The women in the movie, who all live in Los Angeles and have jobs that do not permit them to have money problems, treat Steve Harvey’s book like a bible. (Film.com)
There’s the Mama’s Boy (Terrence J) versus the Single Mom (Regina Hall); the Dreamer (Michael Ealy) versus the Woman Who Is Her Own Man (Taraji P. Henson),; and the Non-Committer (Jerry Ferrara) versus the Ring Girl (Gabrielle Union).
The film also pits the Player (Romany Malco) versus the 90-Day Girl (Meagan Good) — 90 days is how long she’s supposed to “keep the cookie in the cookie jar.” (NY Post)
…the too-easy woman has decided to start off all boyfriends with a probation period before they get their “benefits package.” (NewarkStar)
Taraji P. Henson plays Lauren, an executive so powerful that she’d rather live way up in an airless room at a Ritz-Carlton than anywhere else in Los Angeles. When [the screenplay] throws Ealy’s aspiring chef in her way, will snobbery keep her from enjoying all the great sex and postcoital food he cooks? (Boston Globe)
…the scene in which he brings her breakfast in bed, shirtless, is sure to inspire audible gasps. (AP)
A woman at the screening breathed “Lord, have mercy” when a bare-chested Ealy appeared. (Newark)
These four guys have two other friends as well, a newly divorced one (Kevin Hart) and a happily married one (Gary Owen.) The former character is included purely for comic relief, enjoying his new liberation by spending too much time at strip clubs. The latter is here to remind everyone of the ideal relationship they’re all hoping for. (Film.com)
…banter between the male friends, who frequently meet to play basketball. (AP)
Kristen, The Ring Girl – tosses out all the fanboy collectibles belonging to her boyfriend of nine years, Jeremy, The Non-Committer (Jerry Ferrara). -AP
Between dates, the women drink wine and tell each other that having their very own hardcover Harvey tome has given them a new attitude. (NYPost)
It feels like an ad for the book. We see Steve Harvey on TV, talking about it. We get Harvey on-screen, talking right to us. We get endless close-ups of the dust jacket, of various pages, of actual highlighted sentences. (Newark)
Harvey’s book is mentioned every five minutes. (MSN)
…the concepts are underlined constantly. And I do mean underlined, via at least a dozen shots of highlighter markers running over bullet points like “boys shack, MEN build homes.” (NY Post)
The camera lovingly and frequently frames copies of the book. Mr. Harvey appears in the movie dispensing advice. And when the characters talk about relationships, they often begin like this: “Steve says. …” (NY Times)
…silly cutaways to the self-contented author, whose inky mustache glistens as much as his bald head. (BostonGlobe)
First the women read Harvey’s book and decide to use its manipulative strategies to catch the guys. Then the men read it and decide to turn the tables, to trick the women into bed. (Newark)
So what does Steve say? Men need to be the providers (it’s in their DNA); men don’t like the words “we need to talk,” etc. A running joke is that Mr. Harvey has thrown men under the bus by giving away their secrets. (NY Times)
…the most successful female character, who we’re told can’t “get” a man because she’s become one. (Newark)
Did you know men like sex? (Newsday)
…warnings against being a “chirp-chirp” girl (The “chirp-chirp” line has to do with insisting that your date open the car door for you). (WashingtonPost)
“Men respect women with standards. Just get some.” (Newsday)
Cameos (including NBA players, Chris Brown [!!] and radio/TV host Wendy Williams, Sherri Shepherd as a daytime host). (Variety)
Rapper AMG, manages to sound a clear, distinctively hip pop-cultural dog whistle. (Washington Post)
Okay, I included that last one mainly because I’m still trying to figure out what it means. Again, we come to a point in all Plot Recreated with Reviews posts where we need a conclusion, which are hard to come by in movie reviews, especially when you throw out the analytical parts. But I think this will have to do:
There are six couples. It takes forever to get to that point. Then, you get to the obligatory happy wrap-up. It takes forever. (Tri-City Herald)
Again, I haven’t seen it myself, but putting a Chris Brown cameo in a relationship-advice movie whose title already sounds like a man yelling at a woman seems like an… interesting choice.