Think Like A Man is a refreshingly original take on a tired formula

FILM
THINK LIKE A MAN
Cert 12A
****
Another rom-com adaptation of a self-help dating book? Once your eyes return from their deep roll, the chances are you will snort, spit or sneer. But – despite adding to a genre that’s defined by mediocrity (see: He’s Just Not That Into You) – Think Like a Man is surprisingly good.

Of course, low expectations will make anything better, but it has a delightful cast, some genuinely amusing moments and an architecture that doesn’t entirely plonk the women in the whining, unreasonable, ring-desiring room. Expecting to be offended (its very name implies that the romantic universe is male-centric), I found that I was entertained and even, at times, touched. It was also refreshing to see a mostly African-American cast – so often dating issues are portrayed in a Caucasian-only universe.

Based on radio host Steve Harvey’s 2009 book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the film follows a group of friends as they fall in and out of love, and back in again. All the women are avid readers of Harvey’s book, giving them an advantage in the “game of love”. It’s not long, though, before their menfolk catch on, get a copy of the book, and start beating the women at their own game (which is really their game to begin with).

Among the women are Mya, who is sick of being used for sex and determined to make her new beau Zeke wait; Candice, a single mother frustrated by her mummy’s-boy boyfriend Michael; Kris, an estate agent getting tired of her long-term boyfriend Jeremy’s frat-boy lifestyle, and the fantastically successful and demanding businesswoman Lauryn, the film’s answer to Samantha from Sex and the City. The menfolk (slacker, commitment-phobe, player, aforementioned mummy’s boy) zing with energy and, somewhat predictably, it’s their relentless banter that provides the real laughs.

For a girl’s night out, this should fit the bill nicely. And if your girlfriend wants to see it, indulge her – you might end up secretly enjoying it.