Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A rare occurrence.
I really don’t understand it. This…need…to fictionalize a self-help book and adapt it to the big screen. I mean, plenty of films have done this, transforming a popular self-help book into (usually) a romantic ensemble cast comedy. Are there really that little of options in terms of novel-to-movie adaptations? I usually hate ensemble cast films, and I usually hate movies based on self-help books…but I have to admit…Think Like a Man somehow hit the magical note – and it worked for me. Though, I’ll just have to point this out right now…making a sequel doesn’t make any sense whatsoever…but I guess we’ll get to that later.
Think Like a Man is a film based on the book, ‘Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man’, by famous comedian Steve Harvey. The book in question is a self-help book for women that just can’t seem to get a handle on men. To help move the film along further, each of the main characters are very different than each other. There is The Player, The Mama’s Boy, The Dreamer, The Non-Commiter, The Happily Married Man, and the Happier Divorced Guy. While extremely diverse personalities may come off as unrealistic at first, just remember no one is the same. Every one of these characters finds a girl they are attracted to and the first thing that crosses their mind is to take advantage of these women. Of course, women have been getting tired of being taken advantage of, so when Steve Harvey’s book hits the shelves, it is sold out almost immediately. They begin using the tools set out by Harvey to keep their man in control, and basically do their bidding. This all turns sour when the men find a copy of the book, and begin using the same tricks against the women to get what they want.
In my opinion, there are red flags everywhere that point to the fact that I really should hate the movie. A group of diverse men with different likes and tastes all being friends? I don’t know, but that’s far from the worst element. It’s the fact that – because this is based on a self help book, every character in every scene is always giving another character advice. This happens in all of these types of films. It’s unrealistic, but the thing that really saves it…is the pacing, structure, and most importantly, characters. In my honest opinion – they got that perfect.
These guys, because they are so diverse, don’t all blend together like other ensemble comedies. They are all very remarkable and very memorable – which is rare. The chemistry they have with each other and their respected lover is unmatched, hilarious, and serious when need be. What’s more, it’s completely believable. Past that, you have the structure – which was brilliant and self-aware. It’s a movie based on a book, literally, the book is central to the plot – it’s a character. There are “chapters” and themes, and interludes with Steve Harvey talking to the audience. You ask me, this is exactly how you make a self-help book-made-movie.
Now, it also relies a little too heavily on over-the-top facts. Think about it. The book is sold out for over a week, and every woman and their mother (literally) knows about the book – as if it were more well-known than the Bible itself…and yet…the guys are completely oblivious to it’s existence…which to me spells inconsistency. It’s not a huge flaw, but it’s important. The same goes for the “giving each other advice all the time” problem…these are things that I think are easily avoidable, but they are still there regardless.
Of course a movie like this would have flaws, but what’s important to realize is that through all movies based off of self-help books and ensemble comedies alike, they did something special with Think Like a Man. They casted a really good ensemble group – each of which is very easy to keep track of and separate from the rest – plus, they all have very good chemistry with each other. There’s not one person in the entire movie that feels out of place.
It’s really unbelievable in some scenes. Primarily speaking, there’s just too many scenes where people are constantly giving each other advice…that’s unrealistic. But what the hey, it’s still a rare occurrence all around.