Friday, October 26, 2012

Book-to-Movie Classics: Think Like a Man

I'm going to start this blog by being honest and admitting I own a copy of Steve Harvey's first book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.  I'll go so far as to say I've owned it for awhile.  I will go a step further and say it was a fascinating read.  Any insight into what is ordinarily a very guarded male mind is a welcomed foray.  As a now single woman, fresh off a 10-year relationship gone horribly wrong, and back on the dating scene, I found that a lot of Steve's comments, while they seem common sense, are things I, and many of my girlfriends, were clueless about were it not for the book.  Every woman has that girlfriend who sleeps with guys on the first date, or the super successful elitist who thinks the bank account makes the man.  There are even those of us who simply believe in love (that's me) and tend to try to make everything into a fairy tale.  Truth be told (and I've confirmed this with some guy friends), Steve got it right, and if women understood how guys love and communicate, we'd be less likely to hold on much too long to the bad relationships and throw away the good.
Steve discusses many aspects about dating that seem or feel taboo to many women.  For instance, how soon is too soon to introduce him to my children?  How long should I wait to be physically intimate?  Why do men cheat?  Do men really want to fall in love?  The answers to these questions are practical and real, albeit not always what you're expecting.  A lot of the answers to those burning questions are "Because we can."  Infuriating, right?  But what was more fascinating to me was the empowerment Steve infuses into this book.  The answer is infuriating because you find that you are the reason they can; we put up with it.  And if that individual man knew he couldn't get away with that with you, he wouldn't try.  He'd either leave you alone altogether or come correct.  Steve points out the insecurity most women have: the fear of being alone.  And any assertion we have that threatens to scare a man off breeds a desperation within us that screams, "Where will I find another one?"  Steve reassures us that there are good men out there--if we bother focusing our attention on our own self-esteem and demanding for ourselves the respect and love we deserve.
This mantra continues into the adapted movie, Think Like a Man.  In a star-studded cast, Think Like a Man delivers humor and true sentiment in a BIG way.  I must say, Kevin Hart steals the show.  The only divorcing man in the group of men featured, his comedically bitter perspective of relationships on the other side of love is both endearing and real.  Of course, there's enough chocolate on both sides in this movie: the cast is stacked with some of the most prominent African-American actors in the industry, each bringing their own style and charisma to the screen.  While the archetypes in this film cover broad generalizations--like "Mama's Boy vs Single Mom"--each actor brings a natural atypical personification to their roles.
I was wonderfully entertained!  I must admit, I didn't expect to like this movie.  I thought it would be another generic black romantic comedy.  I've gotten a bit desensitized to the "happily ever after" endings of rom-coms (seeing as the only one I ever saw that didn't end that way was The Break-up, the ending of which was oddly dissatifying!).  But, despite the way it ended, I was incredibly captivated.  It was a laugh-out-loud good time, and everything I wanted from a romantic comedy.  You'll be hard pressed to find a man willing to watch it with you (haha!), but the national rating is a 9 out of 10.
5/5 suns: The movie is an entertaining watch regardless of where you are in your relationship, but the book is a must-read road map for the single woman.



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