“Think Like A Man”
Ensemble movies are by definition kind of choppy, and this one is no exception. In no particular order, we have the Immature Man Who Won’t Make A Commitment and the Woman Who Decides She’s Going To Give Him an Ultimatum. Then we have the Super-Successful Woman who finds that her male counterparts are so full of themselves that she can’t stand to be around them, and so she allows herself to fall for Mr. Nice Guy Who Underachieves But Still Has Dreams. Then we have the Single Mom Who Needs Someone to Love Both Her and Her Kid with the guy who indeed loves kids, no problem, and he cares about her too, but he’s The Momma’s Boy, and he’s going to have to decide which woman is going to come first in his life. Then there’s The Man Who Wants Sex First, and might fall in love later, somehow trying to figure things out with the woman who’s already tried too-casual mating, and found it frustrating and fruitless, so she’s decided she’s going to withhold affection for a while, until he “earns” it (don’t really care for the implications of that, but I didn’t write this). So she becomes The Ice Queen who insists on his acting like a gentleman, and opening doors and all that, and he’s supposed to guess if she might be different when she starts caring.
Whew. And it gets more complicated. It seems all these guys are buddies, along with the short fella who’s the resident comedian, and the big, clumsy oaf who says he has a wife, but we never see her (so their relationship is somehow irrelevant, because after you’re married it’s all over?). The plot involves this popular book called “Act Like A Woman, Think Like A Man” which is written by this smarmy Mr. Know-It-All who thinks he can tell everyone else about their relationship, and the weird part is that everyone believes him. So the women discover the book and start plotting strategy (like asking the men what their short-range and long-range goals are), and the men find out about the book, except they think they have an advantage because the women don’t know that they know.
Whew. And then you add to this mix some little racial innuendos that would have been impossible except most of the actors happen to be black, which means they can get away with saying certain things to each other which the white people can’t say to them, even if they are supposed to be friends.
Whew. The other dynamic about rom-coms is that sometimes they’re more comedic than romantic, and vice versa. And the X factor is always the raunch level of the dialogue and the racy part of the love scenes. Well, here we have light raunch, dialogue only, and no random exposed body parts. Parts of it are cute, parts of it are chuckly-funny, but it’s intended to be entertainment lite, and it is.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Interim Pastor, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Irving , Texas