A movie based on Steve Harvey's self-help book, 'Think Like A Man, which was co-written by Harvey, is the latest rom-com to detail another battle in the eternal struggle of men versus women. Directed by Tim Story (Fantastic 4: Rise Of the Silver Surfer), Think Like A Man is about four guy friends who try to turn the tables on their women when they learn the girls have been trying to use date advice from a book, by, well, Steve Harvey.
The movie is typical of most romantic comedies, but the cast boasts an impressive list of comedic and dramatic actors, including Michael Ealy (Sleeper Cell), Romany Malco (Weeds), Jerry Ferrara (Entourage), Gabrielle Union (Good Deeds), Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button), and of course, the outrageously funny stand-up comic Kevin Hart. Yet, despite an A-list cast of actors and singers like La La Anthony and Chris Brown, the movie thinks too much like a man and not enough like a smart, funny movie.
Currently, the film has a 53 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has an average score of 3.6 out of 10 on the Internet Movie Database. Here's what the nation's top critics had to say about Think Like A Man.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday:
'Think Like a Man' is part of an ongoing trend of movies based on advice books, including 'He's Just Not That Into You' and the upcoming 'What to Expect When You're Expecting,' although this one is built around Harvey's twinkly eyed personality as a comedian and radio host. That makes the self-promotion understandable, but what makes it forgivable is that 'Think Like a Man' is a surprisingly engaging, entertaining and very funny movie. ... Director Tim Story ('Barbershop') juggles this potentially clunky material quite deftly, and the bumps are smoothed over by the appealing cast. (Even Chris Brown, in a cameo, seems likable again.) And despite the hard sell, there's absolutely no obligation to buy Harvey's book.
Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post:
We've all been told that throwing yourself at someone will only make you less desirable. So it goes with this vaguely movie-like infomercial for Steve Harvey's best-selling love-advice book of the same title. The more this alleged romantic comedy begs you to adore it, the more you wish you could block its calls. ... 'Think Like a Man' looks at the love lives of a group of mostly African-Americans in Los Angeles - breaking them into a series of matchups: There's the Mama's Boy (Terrence J) versus the Single Mom (Regina Hall); the Dreamer (Michael Ealy) versus the Woman Who Is Her Own Man (Taraji P. Henson); and the Non-Committer (Jerry Ferrara) versus the Ring Girl (Gabrielle Union). The film also pits the Player (Romany Malco) versus the 90-Day Girl (Meagan Good) - 90 days is how long she's supposed to 'keep the cookie in the cookie jar. That last gem says it all about this movie's coy substitutes for love, lust or wit.
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post:
An all-star revue of some of the most physically stunning actors working in Hollywood, 'Think Like a Man' is a pleasure if only on a purely sensory level. (The earrings constitute a lustrous ensemble cast all their own.) If it begins to strain under the sheer weight of its multiple characters, plot lines and pieces of aphoristic advice, 'Think Like a Man' is a movie sure to find an appreciative audience in anyone longing to see at least some recognizable reality folded into their cinematic fantasy.
Tom Long, Detroit News:
There are some twisted, seriously outdated attitudes at the bottom of 'Think Like a Man.' Luckily, there's some fairly entertaining chatter that goes on above those attitudes. In the film, love is a commodity, sex is a weapon, romance is a war. The relationship between man and woman is a game to be played and won. For the most part, we never learn what these men or women do for a living. Actually, we learn next to nothing about them beyond their romantic roles. Given all of this, screenwriters Keith Merryman and David A. Newman (they wrote 'Friends with Benefits') and director Tim Story have to be complimented on making a movie that gurgles along with funny patter disguising what could be disturbing situations.
Bob Mondello, NPR:
There's a promotional impulse driving Think Like a Man. It's a little more blatant here, with everyone holding up Steve Harvey's book for the camera at one point or another - including Steve Harvey. All that winking makes it sort of a two-hour infomercial, but a decently amusing one.
Stephen Whitty, The New Jersey Star-Ledger:
'Think Like a Man' is an occasionally funny 90-minute romantic comedy. Unfortunately, it's interrupted by about 30 minutes worth of Steve Harvey commercials. ... Once the movie starts, it feels like an ad for the book. We see Harvey on TV, talking about it. We get Harvey on-screen, talking right to us. We get endless close-ups of the dust jacket, of various pages, of actual highlighted sentences. We get everything but a way to drop it in our Amazon shopping cart. It's not only shameless, it detracts from what this movie could have been, and still is when the self-promoting Harvey shuts up - which is an old-fashioned battle-of-the-sexes comedy, focusing on four fictional, supposedly modern couples.
Think Like A Man is rated PG-13 for strong language, sexual references and drug use. Watch the trailer below, and if you see the movie, tell us your impressions in the comments section below.