For me, black films have been in decline for a very long time. What do I mean by the term ‘black film’? I’m basically talking about films that have a predominately black cast. What about ‘super black films’? These are films which have a majority black cast and a black director. The super black films have been plagued by the Tyler Perry’s of this world for far too long and I all but abandoned the sub-genre for the past decade – they’ve been that bad.
I think the last great super black film was created right here on our shores – Kidulthood. With that said, the USA’s super black scene is starting to show signs of life. I sat down to watch Think like a Man, and to my surprise, it really wasn’t that bad.
Think like a Man is about a group of (multi-racial) friends who develop a variety of issues in their love life, thanks to a book written by one of the Kings of Comedy, Steve Harvey. In this book, Steve spills secrets on how women can keep their man, how to change a man and how to foil their mack moves – basically the book is a tool to manipulate men. Once the ladies get a hold of these ancient male secrets, all hell breaks loose.
It’s important to state straight away that you should not take this film seriously – under any circumstance. In fact that is the biggest problem this film has, it take its premise far too serious when the film would have been better served by been a little goofier. Instead you get stereotypes of characters such as, the mama’s boy, the playa and the successful business woman. These generalisations could have so easily killed the film
But the cast in this film are world class – there are some truly fantastic performances, not least by the aforementioned mama’s boy (Terrance J), the playa (Romany Malco) and the successful business woman (Taraji P. Henson). Taraji Henson has already proven to me that she is a powerhouse of an actress in Hustle and Flow and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the same goes with Malco who shone in The 40 Year old Virgin and Weeds – but Terrance J was a complete surprised and I’m looking forward to seeing how he can build from this. These three put so much heart into their character that you soon forget how utter ridiculous their storylines are.
Speaking of ridiculous, Kevin Hart is also great in this movie simply because 90% of the time he is providing the comedy in this RomCom. I was surprised at how little I actually laughed throughout this film, but for some reason it didn’t bother me and I suspect that Kevin Hart was the reason why.
By the end of the movie I had become so emotionally involved with the characters that I felt a tear stream preparing itself in one of my eyes. Don’t judge me. Also, don’t get me wrong, Think like a man is not great, and I am certain that some women will find it offensive in some places. This is just an ok film with hints of greatness here and there – enough hints to make you think that the tradition of the super black film isn’t dead in the United States of America.