On Sunday evening, I went to see Think Like A Man Too. I was alone and a little tipsy. My mission: To absorb all of the bad relationship advice in the film and share it with you, dear readers.
In this sequel to Steve Harvey's original steaming pile of nonsense, Think Like A Man, single mom Candace (Regina Hall) is marrying her mama’s boy boyfriend Michael (Terrence Jenkins). In order to have a small affair, they chose a Vegas wedding and round up their friends (and LaLa) and hit the Strip. Cue lots of lessons on love and life!
Zeke, played by Romany Malco, has quite the dating history — he's made the rounds, and then some. But he's keeping his seedy history under wraps back home in Los Angeles with his girlfriend Maya, played by Meagan Goode. The charade doesn't last, however, as his messy reputation as a ladies’ man follows him to Las Vegas. Cue unfortunate hijinks; that's what you get for sleeping around.
Lesson: If you’re a guy with innumerable notches on your belt, you should tell your lady the truth and she should just get over it. No girl likes to date a guy with no skeletons! Omnipresent old angry flames are exciting!
Lauren, played by Taraji P. Henson, and Dominic, played by Michael Ealy, are in love and have great sex and rising careers. Then disaster strikes, because of course it would strike the upwardly mobile, successful black woman who is happy. Lauren gets a promotion at her company which would move her to New York and she’s not sure what to do; she wants the gig but doesn't want to leave her man. Elsewhere, Dominic is also being offered an out-of-state job; he's not sure what to do, seeing as the opportunity would leave their relationship hanging in the balance. But Lauren decides not to climb the ladder because LOVE. What about Dominic’s job? He doesn’t seem to make a decision, unless I missed a mumble about "I’ll stay in LA and forgo upward mobility," but it seems like everyone stays put.
Lesson: If no one moves up and your careers remain static, everyone's happy. But what about when the resentment arrives, you say? You think they would grow to hate each other because love shouldn't mean forgoing your dreams indefinitely, but rather it should be a dance of fluid compromise. But this is Steve Harvey and we'd be misguided to expect that kind of nuanced messaging..
As Candace and Michael get closer to their wedding, Michael’s mother Ms. Loretta gets meddlesome. She misspells Candace’s name on the wedding program, she books an adjoining room to their honeymoon suite, she calls Candace "old" a million times and tries to sabotage her bachelorette party with Dionne Warwick tickets. Finally, just as the group is really hitting rock bottom (more on that later), Ms. Loretta tells Candace she sucks, in so many words, and to pack her stuff and leave her son alone. Candace ends the conversation respectfully and walks away, except Michael was listening to his mother’s shitshow. The groom dresses down his mother and commands her to apologize to his future wife. She says no, of course, and then he bans her from the wedding. Candace, who was listening in the adjoining room, tells Michael that he is the one who should say sorry to his mom and essentially accepts that her mother-in-law will always be a bitch to her because that’s just who she is. Suddenly, that’s what makes Mama Loretta come 'round and then everything is all hugs and smiles. Huh?
Lesson: When it comes to evil in-laws, just roll over and play dead.
The men join a male stripper competition — my, what a conveniently silly plot point — to pay off an unexpected $40,000 hotel bill. Naturally, it’s all good for strange women to rub on their parts or pay them for pleasure. But when the guys realize that the women are on the receiving end of all that bumping and grinding, they get upset. Turnabout is NOT fair play!
Lesson: Don't have bachelorette parties with male strippers because men can’t handle it.
Kristen, played by Gabrielle Union, is a mean bitchy wife who wants to have sex like clockwork because she is a Lou Gossett Jr.-style pregnancy drill sergeant. Her poor husband, Jeremy, played by skinny Jerry Ferrara, is just trying to deliver the sperm as instructed but he's super bummed about all of this sex he's being forced to have. Major struggle. Initially reluctant and freaked out, Jeremy sees the other token white friend, Bennett, being nice to his kids and thinks, "Hey, maybe I can do this!" Kristen, for her part, tries to convince herself that she's still fun even though she's ruled by her ovulation schedule. In the end, Kristen realizes that she missed her period and might be pregnant.
Lesson: The drill sergeant sex act apparently worked, so ... be a sexual drill sergeant.
Remember Zeke and Maya? After admitting that he’s made plenty of rounds with the ladies and is sorry for keeping his past a secret, Zeke proposes to Maya. In a pool. With all of his clothes on. Because ~*~LoVe~*~.
Lesson: Marriage smooths out all of your relationship's wrinkles, you know? Living with someone and all of their issues would never exacerbate small problems or re-hash old demons. That NEVER happens.