Think Like a Man Blu-ray Review
More than any other genre, comedy is sliced diced and dissected into very distinguishable sub categories. But in our modern and afraid-of-its-own-shadow society, one of comedy’s most successful and popular factions is somehow considered taboo or politically incorrect to even speak its name. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the term “black comedy.” And no, I’m not referring to a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp project, for which I believe the term “dark comedy,” should be reserved. The category in this instance simply refers to a film primarily dominated by black actors performing material that is skewed either slightly or heavily toward African-American culture. That’s it. In no way does the term act as a hallmark for quality. A comedy either succeeds or fails based solely on its bedrock of writing and acting. Unfortunately over the past decade, the genre of black comedy has become undeservingly synonymous with the barrage of “Tyler Perry Presents: More Stunningly Unfunny and Simple Minded, Yet Somehow Successful Material.” Thankfully, in between Madea reunions, films such as THINK LIKE A MAN remind everyone that actual funny black comedies are still being produced as well.
A group of close friends think they have their perspective love lives and dating styles all under control, until a book is published by a famous comedian that reveals the secrets of how a woman can think like a man to get what they want out of their significant other. When the men discover that all of the women in their lives are using it as a relationship playbook, they decide to use the same tactics against them.
THINK LIKE A MAN is actually based on the relationship advice #1 bestselling book by comedian/actor Steve Harvey. Harvey himself is in the film and acts as a virtual narrator, appearing in cut-away and voice over freeze frames with quotes and rules from his book. This is not by any means a new or original method for facilitating a story, but it’s not an easy one to pull off either. For most of the film, the Harvey clips fit in nicely, adding an entertaining and poignant element to the characters’ situations. Also, Kevin Hart’s character, Cedric, takes on most of the character narration, so the film doesn’t get bogged down with rules and quotes from Harvey, turning it into a literal translation of the “self-help” book it’s based on.
Director Tim Story does a tremendous job with a large and very talented ensemble cast, creating integral moments for minor characters that are both funny and relevant to the plot. Story is no stranger to dealing with an intimidating amount of aptitude all at once, as he directed both FANTASTIC FOUR films and 2002’s BARBERSHOP, to which there is definitely a facsimile in how the male characters interact with each other in THINK LIKE A MAN.
The cast has a ton of familiar faces from the genre but aside from Gabrielle Union, who is surprisingly funny in this film, the main standouts are not the usual suspects. Michael Ealy (UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING, CALIFORNICATION) is obviously the most talented actor of the bunch in a traditional sense. He doesn’t lend much to the comedic aspect of the script, but he brings a much needed stability to scenes that might be on the cusp of going overboard with the fast-talking and adlibbing Kevin Hart (DEATH AT A FUNERAL, SOUL PLANE) and Romany Malco (THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, WEEDS). Malco’s main contribution to the story is that he’s able to keep up with Hart, who is the main comedy component in the film, but he does have a tendancy to try too hard at times to be funny, coming off as a cheap Eddie Murphy or Martin Lawrence impersonator. But to his credit, Hart definitely hits more than he misses this time around, especially during the hilarious basketball scenes when Cedric and his friends must battle some well-known pro athletes for the right to the court.
THINK LIKE A MAN is not going on anyone’s all-time top 5, 10 or even top 20 list of favorite comedies, but with its deep characters, quick wit and a throw-back sound to its music tracks, the film is a much needed and satisfying refresher course on black comedies from the 1990’s.
Video: 1.85:1 Widescreen The video quality on this disc is average at best. Blacks and shadows are not nearly as inky as they should be and sharpness varies between scenes. Hues and warm tones, which were dominate, did not pop and should’ve been much more vibrant.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio was pretty decent on this disc, dialogue was crisp and clear even when the background music faded in and out.
Behind the Comedy (6:49): A tongue and cheek behind the scenes look featuring the cast joking around in interviews and talking about their fellow cast members. Not really much interesting content here. All the jokes are very calculated and set up.
He Said, She Said (5:20): The male and female stars of the film are asked what gender gives better relationship advice. Pretty much 5 minutes worth of fluff and filler.
The Guy Code (6:41): Producer Will Packer explains what made him want to turn a self-help book into a feature film. And the cast members elaborate on their characters personalities. This is just more reiteration from the film, nothing in depth or revealing.
Gag Reel (5:38): Lots of short clips of the cast goofing around before and after takes. There are a few funny Kevin Hart moments in here, plus moments from J.B. Smoove, whose part in the film was all but cut out.
Deleted Scenes (6:32): Not much worth watching here. Just superfluous content that was not very humorous and did not add anything to the story.