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think-like-a-man_10How do you turn a self-help book into a movie?

Well, instead of directly basing the story on comedian Steve Harvey’s non-fiction bestseller “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment” the movie uses the book as a springboard.

The book appears alongside four women—Mya (Meagan Good), Candace (Regina Hall), Lauren (Taraji P. Henson) and Kristen (Gabrielle Union)—who are using the self-help tome to better understand their men–Zeke (Romany Malco), Michael (Terrence J), Dominic (Michael Ealy) and Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara). Of course the men figure out what’s going on and pick up the book and get in on the game.

Despite playing a bit like an infomercial for Steve Harvey’s book, “Think Like a Man” is a funny and charming. It’s a bit overlong, a tad too theatrical, has too many overlapping stories—any one of the four relationships could have been a stand-alone rom com—and a predictable sitcom ending, but the cast fights to overcome the pigeonholes they’re saddled with—Mama’s Boy, The Woman Who Is Her Own Man—and turn the movie’s negatives into, if not exactly positives, then at least elements that don’t bring ruin the good natured romp on display.

The key player here is Kevin Hart, who serves as narrator and comic foil throughout. He doesn’t so much act as he does “deliver” his lines, but his over-the-top style livens up what might have been a much more by-the-book rom com.

“Think Like a Man” purports to be about modern relationships but the battle of the sexes seems a bit old fashioned, but there are consistent laughs all the way through if you can look past the stereotypes.

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