PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

April 20, 2012

'Think' sells it — the book, that is

Sean McBride
The Port Arthur News

— “Think Like a Man” is being sold as a feel-good romantic comedy, but don’t be fooled by the advertising. This is really an extended infomercial for Steve Harvey’s dating advice book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” Normally I’d be offended by the bait-and-switch tactic, but Harvey is a genuinely charismatic guy, and the rest of the cast is so polished that I forgot my outrage and just sat back and enjoyed the movie.

The story focuses on a group of guys who play basketball together each week. They are all dating impossibly beautiful women, and trouble arises when these girlfriends get their hands on Steve Harvey’s self-help book. Armed with his dubious wisdom, the women learn the secrets to manipulating their boyfriends. They seem to have gained the upper hand, until the guys learn about the book as well and start using it to manipulate the gals right back.

This is your classic battle-of-the sexes movie where characters frequently behave like petty children, but their actions are easy to forgive because everybody is just so darn likeable. Plus, there’s never any real doubt about the inevitable happy ending to the film. The problem is that you might be in doubt as to when that ending will arrive. With four main relationships in the movie plus a few notable cameos to play out, the film does feel quite over-stuffed.

The Steve Harvey moments also seem out-of-place in a film that is mostly a straightforward romantic comedy. He stops some genuinely nice scenes every time he pops up to shill for his book, which is more popular than the Bible in the movie and conveniently available online for just $11. I’m a bit surprised that they didn’t offer to sell me a copy at the snack bar.

Those issues aside, “Think Like a Man” works on the strength of it’s appealing ensemble cast. The audience won’t have any trouble cheering for the relationships to work out, and several of the couples have some genuine chemistry—something that’s not always guaranteed in these big budget romantic comedies. Throw in some great comic moments from Kevin Hart, who steals nearly every scene, and you have a pretty good date night movie, albeit one that drags on a little too long

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.

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