Kevin Hart, Adam Brody, Gabrielle Union, Gary Owen, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Romany Malco, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Jenkins, Wendi McLendon-Covey
David A. Newman, Keith Merryman, Steve Harvey (Book)
"Think Like a Man Too" Gets By Thanks to Hart
If you've doubted comedian Kevin Hart's presence as one of Hollywood's up-and-coming leading men, then you need only watch Think Like a Man Too to reach the realization that while he may not always choose the best material Hart is more than able to carry a film from beginning to end even when the material he's working with doesn't measure up to his likable and frequently hilarious presence.
Think Like a Man was a barely passable comedy based upon a barely passable book from comedian Steve Harvey who, by the way, may be a darn fine television host but is definitely not meant to be one of Hollywood's leading men. Harvey has built a solid career on his comedy, television work, and his books that are mindless drivel even in a world that embraces mindless drivel and calls it self-help. Think Like a Man Too is nothing more than a formulaic money grab, but it's a formulaic money grab released by a studio that at least had the good sense to put its money behind Kevin Hart and many of the original film's returnees. Unfortunately, that good sense went out the window when it came to a script that planted everyone in Las Vegas for a wedding and proceeded to unfold every Vegas cliche' known.
I mean, couldn't they at least start a cliche'?
It's hard not to get the sense that Hart knows that he's working with second-rate material here, because this is one of those rare occasions when Hart's usual frenzied yet likable demeanor is on overdrive and it feels forced and unnatural even when he is scoring a few laughs along the way.
For the record, he definitely does still get his share of laughs despite this being one of his least appealing performances.
The other thing that Think Like a Man Too has going for it is that the ensemble's chemistry is as strong as ever. Even when the script disappoints, there's something rather enjoyable about seeing these folks together.
The film kicks off with Candace (Regina Hall) and Michael (Terrence J) landing in Vegas to get married along with Michael's obnoxious mother (Jenifer Lewis), the latter being a character whose development would grow tenfold if she'd become a one-note character. The couples are here from before including Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) and Kristen (Gabrielle Union), Zeke (Romany Malco) and Mya (Meagan Good), and Dominic (Michael Ealy) and Lauren (Taraji P. Henson). Of course, they all come with their own baggage and, of course, we will spend this weekend getting to know their baggage and watching them work it all out.
Opening alongside Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys, there's little doubt that Think Like a Man Too will capture the opening weekend box-office crown. After all, I don't care whether or not Jersey Boys is a better film (It is!) it's pretty much impossible to even consider the notion that most of America is going to consider a Frankie Valli inspired musical over even the lamest comedy from one of America's more talented comic actors.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic