Or at the very least, watch the movie.
Screen Gems major motion picture Think Like a Man is a loose departure from the best-selling advice book from comedian Steve Harvey, but the insight it explores on relationships, marriage, overcoming fears and realizing your potential is anything but a departure. The glaring differences between how a man sees their world with a woman at the center as opposed to how women see theirs with a man are illustrated seamlessly here, with director Tim Story clearly defining the lines and establishing the roles of each male character (categorized through dedicated chapters in Harvey’s book) and their female counterparts with equal and necessary depth.
An ensemble cast movie, especially as it pertains to romantic comedies, can get convoluted and muddled very easily (see Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, et al). Most times you wonder why you should care about one or any of these characters’ problems, especially if it isn’t discovered organically. Manufactured problems don’t resonate with audiences, so a device needs to be inserted to justify why these people do what they do. In the case of Think, it’s already established that the contents of the book drives the story, and the different ways it affects the couples’ lives have both desirable and adverse consequences.
Leading the way isn’t who you would expect with a cast so star-studded. And this is only our opinion, but Romany Malco (Weeds, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) has the most intriguing story, some of the best lines and probably the most dynamic and established character arc in the film. It seems his evolution within the story and the book’s characterization of his type made for the most movie-worthy plot line. His on-screen partner Meagan Good delivered one of the better performances of her career as well. Newcomer Terrence J and veteran Jenifer Lewis are a convincing son and mother tandem, until he shines bright with Regina Hall as the single mom with fears of letting a man get close to her 6-year-old. Honorable mentions go to the couples of Jerry Ferrara and Gabrielle Union and Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson, but the glue that binds this whole show together has got to be—you guessed it—a supernova in all his diminutiveness, Kevin Hart. His comic relief, self-deprecation, and all his unconventional wisdom take center stage here, which quite possibly confirms him as the hottest comedian on the planet right now.
Now, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Think Like a Man doesn’t break new ground in the rom-com genre. The film is great in intellectually weaving each story and giving you reasons to care for each character, but at the end of the day it’s just a really good, tied-into-a-bow romantic comedy with great acting. If you’ve seen one, you‘ve seen them all, but this one’s done a bit better than all the others.
Think Like a Man is currently playing at a theater near you!