Top 5 Reasons To Pay To See Think Like A Man (No Spoiler)

Image

I attended the New York premiere of Think Like A Man (Screen Gems) earlier this month. I’ve been processing the film on many levels: as a woman in a committed relationship (I just celebrated 15 years of marriage to this comedian named Tmor on April 13); as a filmmaker and creative producer of color (yes–the ‘of color’ part matters), and as a consumer who loves a great moviegoing experience.

I’m not one to rave about films; I have my jaded insider moments just like most entertainment industry insiders. Because I know what’s possible from a creative standpoint, my expectations are high–and because I know the limitations Hollywood places on creativity, those expectations are rarely met, let alone exceeded. I’m usually left wanting more in terms of cast, script, story, or all of the above. But as a smart, sexy comedy, Think Like A Man garners a rave from me.

This film appealed to all three moviegoing sides of me. This surprised me to a degree because before I knew who was involved behind the scenes, I associated this film primarily with comedian and radio host Steve Harvey, since the film is based upon his book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. And since I didn’t read the book (see note above about being married already), don’t listen to his radio show (I commute by subway to my playlists; it’s not personal) and haven’t watched anything with him in it since Kings of Comedy, I was ready to wait and see what my non-industry family members thought before I laid money down for the film.

Then, and here comes the disclosure–I found out that James Lopez, a brilliant marketer and longtime friend from my music business days, was a senior production executive on the project. And how’s this for a small world, HY[e]B connection: the very first record he promoted to me was “If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night)” by MeShell Ndegeocello, who, years later, agreed to appear in my book. Of course I had to support James, who kept it real whether he had hits or misses on the roster. As time went on, he had more hits than misses as a marketing VP over at Atlantic Records, where he took T.I. from King of the South to King of the Rap World–no easy task with the star in and out of custody through much of his career. But this is my reason, not one of my Top 5 reasons for you. Here they are:

1. You will love this movie whether you love or hate Steve Harvey. 

I didn’t need to read the book to understand or enjoy this film. Writers Keith Merryman and David A. Newman do an incredible job of crafting completely fictional characters based on advice from the non-fiction book’s pages.

Image

Bonus: if you’re not big on Steve, he appears once to set up how Gabrielle Union’s character learns of the book, and a couple times via confessional afterward–and then he’s gone. One character is even a Steve Harvey hater, so the elephant in the room is identified for those of you who may feel the same.

2. This is not a chick flick!

As a self-defined type A womanist, I don’t get into romantic comedies where the woman’s whole life is wrapped up in finding, keeping, or stressing over some douchebag who doesn’t know she exists, or some guy who’s already taken. Worse still are the chick flicks where said woman will do anything to quell her desperation, including cash in her self-esteem, kick family and friends to the curb, and of course–get sleazy or naked for no (or any) reason. None of the aforementioned insulting, corny circumstances are present in this film.

Image                       Image

The women of Think Like A Man have intelligent conversations with other women, respect themselves and their families, and remain clothed without losing their sex appeal, all while remaining attractive to their love interests and getting intimate on their own terms (gasp!).

3. The movie is not just funny, it’s actually fun to watch.

Kevin Hart may be the comedic genius who injects hilarity throughout, but the film is funny in general, even when Hart is off screen. There are plenty of one-liners, stingers, and zingers to go around, not to mention the scenes involving a basketball, a bathroom stall, and a folding chair.

Image                   Image

The funny isn’t dependent upon pratfalls, either. There is great, nuanced humor when these characters open up to one another, confront each other with the cold hard truth, or don’t get their way. Bonus: Comedienne on the rise and my Bay Area homegirl Luenell (Bruno) makes a cameo.

4. Finally: a cast that reflects the reality of America!

This film has a predominantly Black cast, but so? And? It’s 2012. Get over it. These characters are every adult in the pursuit of a relationship that works. There are white people in this film, but they are not tokens. Think Like A Man does not practice the tokenism with which so many Hollywood movies patronize their audiences.

Image

In the crew of guys, there are not one but two members of the Dominant Group. Neither of them try to be Black, be ‘street’, or be ‘down’. Both of them are comfortable in their own skin, and can dish it out as well as they can take it from the rest of the guys.

This cast is pure eye candy for men and women. This is no rom-com with some dumpy funny dude or nondescript whining girl carrying the film. These people are gorgeous, sexy, charming, burning-up-the-screen hot. Romany Malco is shirtless for an extended period, thank you very much. Michael Ealy is well…Michael Ealy, all foine everything.

Image

Meagan Good gives good shape in every scene. Regina Hall is radiant, albeit reserved as the single mom dating Terrence J’s “Mama’s boy” character. Taraji is stunning as the uptight media exec, and screen time from Kelly Rowland, Lala Anthony and Morris Chestnut only add to the fly factor.

Furthermore, there is an interracial relationship, well played by Union and Ferrara. Yes, these happen in America. And they are not always with burning crosses or police tape in the background. See: (biracial) President Barack Obama. No one cracks a joke or bats an eye at this. It is accepted, and neither character has their identity questioned or compromised because of who they love–so we can just follow their story line instead of having to unpack baggage that really deserves its own film. Awesome. Bonus: people of color are not sprinkled throughout this film as window dressing, service professionals, or quirky and exotic extras. They are multi-dimensional and front and center.

5. The Shot Callers behind the scenes: Packer, Story, and Culpepper

Think Like A Man has a two strong, sensitive (cinematically speaking) African American creatives running the show in producer Will Packer (Takers, Obsessed, Stomp The YardThis Christmas) and director Tim Story (Fantastic Four, Hurricane Season, Barbershop). Packer and Story don’t play Black women out with this film; they also don’t let Black men off the hook. Their crew delivers top-notch production value with great shots, great light (a VERY BIG deal for people of color on screen), hair, makeup and wardrobe, well placed music, and seamless production design. In Screen Gems president Clint Culpepper, the film has a studio head who gets it–and gets out of the way, trusting–and knowing based upon their track records and choices that Packer, Story, (and the aforementioned Lopez) will do their thing. The beneficiaries are the actors and the audience. You can tell the cast felt at ease and free to just perform; the chemistry between couples is undeniable. And even the premiere audience of insiders, celebrities, and their plus-ones let loose in the theater.

So fellas: you are not surrendering your Man Card by seeing this film. And ladies, you are not owning the rom-com stereotypes that have plagued you in the past by seeing this film. Do not pass go, and do not buy bootleg. During the weekend of April 20, pay to see Think Like A Man, so more films that reflect honest portrayals of relationships will get made and win at the box office.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 Responses to “Top 5 Reasons To Pay To See Think Like A Man (No Spoiler)”

  1. TALENT EXPERT Says:

    The top 5 reasons to pay to see “Think Like A Man” is well written and well executed. This is an excellent article that I am enthusiastic about and will share on Facebook. Continued success to its author. You are a blessing with a Pen!

  2. Tarana Says:

    I saw a sneak preview last week at the premiere here in Philly and thoroughly enjoyed it too! And yes, I read and wasn’t bowled over by the book and I am not a huge fan of Steve’s — but with all of that, I really was entertained. It was lighthearted but real and I felt like I actually knew some of the characters. And, of course, Kevin Hart was HILARIOUS! Good read.

  3. DAOUD D. MSHAKA Says:

    Bravo! I was intrigued by the TV promos for this film, so an in-depth review which confirms my thoughts vis a vis it’s entertainment viability could not have been more timely;especially from a source which is indubitably trustworthy. Hopefully I will enjoy the film as much as I did your scribe.Abu loves!!

  4. Top 5 Reasons To Pay To See Think Like A Man (No Spoiler) « The Industry Cosign Says:

    [...] April 18, 2012 Leave a comment http://thembisamshaka.com/2012/04/17/top-5-reasons-to-pay-to-see-think-like-a-man-no-spoiler/ [...]

  5. funny dorm pranks Says:

    funny dorm pranks…

    [...]Top 5 Reasons To Pay To See Think Like A Man (No Spoiler) « Thembisa Mshaka[...]…

  6. Free Play Games Online Says:

    Free Play Games Online…

    [...]Top 5 Reasons To Pay To See Think Like A Man (No Spoiler) « Thembisa Mshaka[...]…

  7. tandyclpepper@aol.com Says:

    Marvelous breakdown. Truly.

  8. Catholic Says:

    Catholic…

    [...]Top 5 Reasons To Pay To See Think Like A Man (No Spoiler) « Thembisa Mshaka[...]…

  9. Extreme Weather Says:

    Extreme Weather…

    [...]Top 5 Reasons To Pay To See Think Like A Man (No Spoiler) « Thembisa Mshaka[...]…

  10. Mark Liddell Says:

    I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by “Think Like a Man”. I viewed it this past weekend full of all the reservations mentioned in the article. I am happy to say that it did not hinge its humor on buffoonery or the ignorance of the characters. Well done. With the flick owning the number one spot in the theatres for two weeks consecutively, this might bring about more movies that respect its audience as much as this one does.

  11. gwendolyn girolamo Says:

    Can you please have your father delete me as a relative under my american name Gwendolyn Girolamo.tnx/ I miss my immmay with all my heart. I long for it and am working my way back. I was so discouriged after your after fatherl. Have him call me 424-204-2086

  12. gwendolyn girolamo Says:

    There is no GOD but ALLAH. lay il laha d Allah twenty 25 five times a day. 424-204-2869

  13. Jack Says:

    It’s hard to find your blog in google. I found it on 13 spot, you should
    build quality backlinks , it will help you to increase traffic.

    I know how to help you, just type in google – k2 seo tips

  14. Gwendolyn Girolamo Says:

    Hi diamond in the sky. I would love to talk to you on radio. What a great topic for us ladies of all ages what is prime time for us. OK ladies this is how it goes. He thinks 50% about wanting us to think like him. The other 50% he suppose to thinks like me. If I think like a women 100% of time we are even. If I thought like him even 25% of the time I’d have a headache. I’m watching movie this week Steve Harvey has grown on me with family feud mortision suits and all. No games. Not a conformed actress in his arena. Who do you love as #1? Life is not a premier screening. But it sure makes a lot of cash I call diamonds. Abby

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers

%d bloggers like this: