Review: THINK LIKE A MAN TOO
By Witney Seibold on June 21, 2014
It’s plenty energetic, and has at least one truly brilliant comedic sequence, but the bland Think Like a Man Too is mired in safe cliché and frantic mugging.
It happens about halfway through Tim Story’s Think Like a Man Too, the sequel to the 2012 oh-yeah-I-guess-that-was-a-thing comedy film based on the relationship advice book by Steve Harvey. The film’s sextet of female leads (Tarji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Wendi McClendon-Covey, and La La Anthony) have accidentally ingested some marijuana, and are finally hitting the clubs of Las Vegas, determined to have the wildest bachelorette party a PG-13 rating will allow. The DJ in their club begins spinning Bel Biv DeVoe’s 1990 hit “Poison,” and the gals begin enthusiastically singing along. A few lines into the song, however, the dancing and the editing of the musical sequence begins to more and more strongly resemble a music video, until it fully mutates into a stand-alone music video sequence, complete with an MTV-style music video tagline in the lower left hand corner at the song’s conclusion. This sequence is the best in Think Like a Man Too, and is indicative of the film’s strangely infectious energy.
I can’t speak for the rest of the film, though, which colors frustratingly within the lines. Although it is ostensibly about a group of males and their own significant-other females unofficially competing as to who can have the best party in Las Vegas (again, within PG-13 limits), it doesn’t ever really cut loose into joyous, filthy anarchy. There is a strip club, but there is no nudity. There is some gambling and tantalizingly dark issues of some very real money problems, but the screenplay never really bothers to resolve them (seriously, did Kevin Hart pay his bill or not?). Some of the characters have relationship issues, but they’re all easily resolved by a few warm platitudes and convenient character contrivances. This is a film that is so busy being blandly pleasant and mom-appropriate, that is handily sands off any edge it may have had in favor of easy jokes, dumb frantic mugging, and truly utter safety.
Assuming we remember the characters and incidents of the 2012 film, Think Like a Man Too reassembles the five couples for a bachelor/ette party in Vegas to precede a wedding the following day. The men (Jerry Ferrera, Terrence Jenkins, Romany Malco, Gary Owen, and the devastatingly handsome Michael Ealy) are led by the hyperactive Hart into the underbelly of Vegas, determined to have the best night ever, including a $400,000-a-night suite at Caesar’s Palace. The women, meanwhile, make a few declarations about “having as much fun as the men,” as if women have traditionally not ever had any fun on bachelorette party nights, and eventually end up stoned at a strip club. I guess they have to think like a man too. Although they presumably learned how to do that in Think Like a Man. The adventures eventually lead to relationship drama, some mild vice, and a trip to prison.
There is something sneakily depressing about party movies set in Las Vegas, and I include The Hangover in this observation: They are all about grown-ups trying to squeeze the last bit of vice out of life just before settling into a world of safety and responsibility wherein they will always be wondering what kind of sinful life they are potentially missing. Vegas is the promise of eternal debauch eternally deferred. There would be a comment on this sort of thing in a more intelligent film than Think Like a Man Too. As it stands, the flick is too good-natured and too clean to offer audiences anything more than a mild afternoon distraction. This is exactly the kind of film one sees with their visiting parents. Funny, silly, nothing offensive, and blandly satisfying.