‘Think Like A Man:’ The Reviews Are In!

Critics agree the cliché and 'disposable' plot is strengthened by its ensemble cast.
By Fallon Prinzivalli

Meagan Good and Romany Malco in "Think Like a Man"
Photo: Screen Gems Productions

The story line for "Think Like a Man" is nothing groundbreaking. Every rom-com touches on men wanting sex and women wanting a man to sweep them off their feet — with both unsatisfied until everything is tied into a neat bow in the last five minutes.

Based on the Steve Harvey book "Act like a Lady, Think like a Man," the film follows a group of men who realize their relationships are being infiltrated by Harvey's self-help book. The women are highlighting away at the pages and using every tactic to get what they want out of their affairs. And while many critics claim the movie looks more like an infomercial, what saves the film is the ensemble cast of attractive, talented actors — Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson and Regina Hall, to name a few — who deliver mild lines with wit and perfectly hit the punch lines of every joke.

It remains to be seen whether "Think like a Man" will knock "The Hunger Games" off its box-office throne this weekend, but as the reviews pour in, it's looking promising.

The Story
" 'Think Like a Man' is a romantic ensemble comedy — an excessively populated and chatty two-hour one — spun from comedian and syndicated radio host Steve Harvey's 2009 self-help relationship bestseller 'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man'...The fact that the movie adaptation uses just the latter half of Harvey's book title is your first clue to its slant. It centers around a fraternity of six friends — each designated in the intro as a particular 'type' (as per Harvey's book) — who regularly meet to play basketball, drink and talk about women. Four of them discover that the women they are involved with (who are also 'types') are applying Harvey's wisdom to the relationship dynamic, so the men study up and turn the game to the home-team advantage for what amounts to a temporary fix." — Jennie Punter, The Globe and Mail

The Ensemble Cast
"Forget hackneyed clichés about Players and Dreamers and the scheming women who seek to domesticate them. Focus on the pleasures of watching a group of gifted actors spar and seduce each other with genuine warmth, and 'Think Like a Man' just might go straight to your head." — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

"Every primary cast member is appealing, elevating the disposable plot — men and women are in constant battle, yawn — into a funny, sexy take on contemporary dating. Middling lines are delivered with sharp sass; tired stereotypes are ... well, still tired, actually (women manipulate and nag, men lie and evade). But at least the actors offer gentle twists that take away some of the sting." — Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News

The Laughs
" 'Think Like a Man' is occasionally funny, though its dirty riffs — most provided by Kevin Hart as the Happily Divorced Guy — are as formulaic as its earnest parts. The movie isn't liable to surprise you. Nor will it bore or offend you, even if you find Mr. Harvey's shtick more old-school sexist than old-school courtly." — Rachel Saltz, The New York Times

The Final Word
"These 30-something folks, comfortable in their circumstances and their skins, are allowed to be smart of heart if baffled by the 21st-century courtship game. There's nothing profound going on here; the truisms don't blossom into life-enriching truths. It's more like the person you meet at a bar who, on second glance, is surprisingly attractive. Call 'Think Like a Man' a perfectly satisfactory one-night stand at the movies." — Richard Corliss, TIME

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