There have been several films that push the boundaries of product placement but very few that base their entire films narrative around a single product. Once upon a time there was a little film called The Wizard, it wasn’t a good movie by a long shot but that wasn’t the point – The Wizard was effectively a feature length commercial for Nintendo under the veil of a cinematic release. Think Like a Man claims to be based off the the similarly titled Steve Harvey book but the laughable plot is just a fabrication to double dip on gullible consumers wallets.
Think Like a Man focuses on a group of stereotypical trouble men and the angles that they are involved with. Unsatisfied with their men, the women consult Steve Harvey’s “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” and arm themselves with the knowledge of how to get the most out of their relationship – the tactics however do not go unnoticed by the men.
It’s hard to take a film seriously when it behaves like an advert constantly – the female characters pick up the book and from there till the credits role, the cast transform into exorbitantly paid clients who testify to Steve Harvey’s genius on frequent request. That’s not to say that there isn’t substance in Think Like a Man, it has it’s rare funny moments and the actors can be charming in a hammed up, predictable sort of way but it’s always overshadowed by its title. But as “talented” as the cast may be, the characters are dull and their dialogue is as predictable as the next product showcase.
It’s not often that I say this but I was a little offended by the male stereotypes that were used in the film – Steve Harvey wrote this book with the idea of it becoming a guide for woman to better understand the male persona but the males in question are individuals of the lowest order. The majority of men in the world do not fit into these neat little boxes that they have laid out and I think it’s fair to say that most men don’t relish in the idea of being openly despicable as an object of good character. The inclusion of white males also seems tacked on in the name of political correctness, in fact the one only serves as a wet blanket to all the others - he’s pasty in complexion, portly, and the only one with any moral fibre.
Single woman will likely find this film entertaining if only by the merits of its message. If you’re looking for a self-help book to fix your relationships, rather fork out the cash for some advice from a legit source. Guys, avoid if you’re sensitive about your image as a man.
The Bottom Line
Tim Story has assembled a reasonably talented c-list cast to play the cookie-cutout cliched characters of Think Like a Man – it has that much going for it – but the whole production flawed with it’s over-stuffing of characters which lead to an extremely convoluted first and second act. In the end though, Think Like a Man is little more than a shameless 2 hour commercial for Steve Harvey’s similarly titled book – it plays like an advertisement and the female cast are poised as satisfied customers happily giving away testimonials on cue.