Mini-Review: Think Like a Man (2012)

Think-Like-A-Man-poster-1Starring Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Jenkins, Jenifer Lewis, Romany Malco, Gary Owen, Gabrielle Union, La La Anthony

Directed by Tim Story

Expectations: High. I have it on good authority that this is funny.


I don’t have much to say about Think Like a Man. It’s well-made, funny and engaging. It’s easily one of the best and most interesting modern romantic comedies I’ve seen in a while (not that I make it a habit to see that many). This could be that the male focus of the film led me to care more about the relationships at hand, but I think it’s more to do with the structure of the film. Instead of one relationship getting all the screen-time, Think Like a Man charts the course of several relationships at once, so at all times there is something new happening with our fun, interesting characters.

Due to this wide focus, the film’s relationships aren’t that complex and they’re somewhat unbelievable, but it’s a romantic comedy so whatever. It’s not about depth and believability, it’s about making you laugh and making you feel a swell of romance in the key moments. And Think Like a Man does that really, really well. The writing is especially snappy, and the entire cast performs admirably. It’s a shame that I don’t really know who many of the actors and actresses in this movie are, and hopefully that will change going forward. It was a treat to see so many positive black characters in one movie, complete with a token white guy! I loved that. It’s a total reversal of traditional Hollywood film casting, and I wish more mainstream films would echo that. The US is rather multiracial, doncha know.

Like all romantic comedies, it does fall into the formulaic trap of being obvious and ending just as you guessed it would at its outset. But where that might usually bother me, I was so taken with the characters and the quality of the comedy that I didn’t mind one bit. I think I finally understand how all the similar romantic comedies continue to do so well: if you connect with the film’s journey then its formula doesn’t matter. I guess that’s the same for all genre films, but for some reason I never considered it an option with romantic comedies. You learn something new every day.

Don’t worry, though, I’m not going to change the focus of Silver Emulsion to a chronological examination of the romantic comedy (although I have to admit, that does sound rather enticing to me), but I will definitely go into future romantic comedy films with a different mindset. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a big fan of them yet.

Mini-Review: The Princess and the Frog (2009)

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Starring Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Jennifer Cody, Jenifer Lewis, Jim Cummings, Michael-Leon Wooley, Peter Bartlett, John Goodman, Oprah Winfrey

Directed by Ron Clements & John Musker

Expectations: Moderate. I want to like this one.

Disney finally makes a return to hand-drawn animation and it’s actually pretty good! The Princess and the Frog tells a modified version of the classic tale, The Frog Prince, but this time around both a prince and a princess are transformed into amphibians. Oh no! Featuring the stunning backdrop of New Orleans, Louisiana and all the jazz and Cajun fixin’s that come along with it, The Princess and the Frog is a delight for fans of classic Disney animation.

That being said, I think the film is a bit too long. Perhaps one or two fewer songs and it would have been much better, because realistically there’s only so many princess songs I can handle in one sitting. I suppose I should have expected as much in a Disney Princess film, but I was hoping for a bit more variety. Keith David is the cast standout as the Shadow Man voodoo practitioner, owning every scene he’s in with an oozing charm. His big song is the best of the film as well, featuring some insanely good animation that is reminiscent of the psychedelic Pink Elephant song in Dumbo.

Overall, it’s a great reboot to the hand-drawn Disney lineup and I hope they put out some more of these types of movies. The film expertly captures the mood of New Orleans and will excite and delight fans of all ages.

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