CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: Strong Ensemble Carries Funny ‘Think Like a Man’
CHICAGO – Tim Story’s ‘Think Like a Man’ can be a frustrating film but the overall likeability of the cast and the inclusion of some of the often-missing elements from relationship movies (like chemistry and believable friendship dynamics) overcome the movie’s flaws. It’s a movie that could have been better but works on its own terms – it’s funny, clever, and even sweet. It’s not going to change the romantic comedy landscape but so many films in this slumping genre fail spectacularly and no one can say that about “Think Like a Man.”
Based on Steve Harvey’s hit book “Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man,” this is yet another film about the battle of the sexes in relationships but it doesn’t minimize or demonize either side like so many of these movies typically do. There have been dozens of male-driven raunchy comedies that turn women into the enemy or, worse, the idiot. And there have been “chick flicks” that make men out to be villains or total morons. “Think Like a Man” respects both sides as it tries to illuminate the differences between the sexes without reducing them for the lowest common denominator.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Think Like a Man” in our reviews section.|
Harvey appears as himself, often dispensing bits of relationship advice from his book, first via an in-movie appearance on a talk show and later in some truly bizarre straight-to-camera bits that should have been cut. Harvey’s appearance selling his book inspires a group of women to change the way they’ve been playing the game and, wouldn’t you know it, the entire group happens to be in or about to enter relationships with a group of male friends. In Steve Harvey’s world, every woman on Earth read his book and put his advice into play.
The men at the center of “Think Like a Man” are a group of friends who have a regular basketball game together and often retire to the same bar for drinks – loudmouth Cedric (a hysterical Kevin Hart), earnest dreamer Dominic (Michael Ealy), man-child Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara), mama’s boy Michael (Terrence J), player Zeke (Romany Malco), and comic relief Bennett (Gary Owen). Four of the guys will encounter relationship issues guided by the all-seeing advice of Steve Harvey. The player meets the beautiful Mya (Meagan Good), a girl who’s tired of cheap sexual encounters and is going to make him wait to “get the cookie.” The guy who values his “Lord of the Rings” toys more than his resume finds his world shattered when his girlfriend Kristen (Gabrielle Union) decides it’s time for him to grown up. The mama’s boy meets a single mother (Regina Hall) who might get him to finally cut the ties to home. Finally, the broke dreamer pretends to be something he’s not to get the confident Lauren (Taraji P. Henson).
Think Like a Man
Photo credit: Screen Gems