‘Think Like a Man’ caught up in the relationship game of chess

Movie review
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
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If the battle of the sexes were a game of chess, then “Think Like a Man” wants Steve Harvey to resemble Bobby Fisher. Adapted from Harvey’s best-selling book, the film turns the self-help tome into a fictional narrative by applying it to characters who play out the types found in the book. The film is essentially about how women can get what they want out of relationships if they learn how men think and use that knowledge to even the playing field. Chess is an apt metaphor for this film because it treats relationships as a game of deception. Rather than openly discussing problems, the film basically says that you have to scam your partner into getting what you want. One character wants her long-time boyfriend to propose to her but, instead of opening a dialogue about the viability of their relationship, they engage in a cat-and-mouse game of hints and trickery. Of course, a movie in which relationship problems are solved through discussion or counseling wouldn’t be particularly funny, which is the only logical reason “Think Like a Man” allows these scenarios to play out. The film can be hit and miss with the jokes but it’s a mostly amiable comedy that knows how to play to the crowd. Kevin Hart, playing a recently divorced man re-entering the single life, does most of the comedic heavy lifting and it’s a role that suits him well. Anyone who has seen his stand-up act knows he can be particularly funny when it comes to relationships. However, what drags the film down isn’t the humor or its mad-cap anti-communication bent. The film is just bland and resembles any number of cookie-cutter romantic comedies that came before it. Coming from one of the Original Kings of Comedy, “Think Like a Man” makes Harvey look like a pawn in his own game. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer. ---------- “Think Like a Man” Directed by Tim Story Starring: Jerry Ferrara, Gabrielle Union and Kevin Hart Rating: Two out of five stars