May 3 2012 4:21pm

Explaining Think Like a Man’s Success?

Think Like a Man posterThink Like A Man, based on comedian Steve Harvey’s book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man relationship guide for women, is out in theaters now, and doing surprisingly well, taking the number one spot at the box office for two weeks in a row (mind you, The Avengers will be sweeping everyone else aside with a superhero hand tomorrow, so Think Like A Man will topple from #1).

But why is it doing so well? Is it because it’s a movie both husband and wife can agree to see? Because it’s based on a popular, humorous self-help book? The popcorn? Michael Ealy?

Many self-help books have captured the public’s interest—there was The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, an Old Skool advice book that said that in order to lock that thing up, you should pretty much be a lady and let the man be a man; that way he will chase the unobtainable you.

Michael Ealy and Taraji P. Henson in Think Like a ManThen there was the bestseller He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo that was also made into a film starring Drew Barrymore and a cast of Hollywood thousands. Greg and Liz say that some women spend too much time deluding themselves and making excuses for men who, just plain and simple, were just NOT THAT INTO THEM and these women needed to wake up and smell the booty call. There are times you have to cut your losses and just move on (can’t say I disagree there).

The premise of this book—based on how the movie represents it, at least—seems to be a mashup of The Rules and He’s Just Not That Into You. Highlights from the book that were also featured in the movie include: Mama’s Boys, Men Respect Standards—Get Some, and The 90 Day Rule—Getting the Respect You Deserve. These headings were all from the book’s table of contents, and were used in a variety of ways in the film.

The cast of Think Like a ManYes, the movie was a total plug for the book, but it was great how the movie also made light of its source material, showing how the men in the movie felt betrayed by having this man give away their (not-so-secret) secrets. And sidebar: Big thumbs up from me for having an interracial cast with easygoing friendships that seemed totally real, funny, and true to life. I loved watching the guys hang out and think that it’s a huge part of the success of the movie.

Sure, this being a romantic comedy we kind of knew how it would all turn out, but this one was done in such a way that it worked for both men and women. While I got all gushy girly, my husband cracked up at the men’s well-written and natural dialogue.

It’s a good film, plain and simple, dispensing equally plain and simple advice. Not to mention—Michael Ealy. If he would just bring me popcorn while I watched…

Did you see it? Did you like it? Can you explain its success?


Kwana Jackson is a writer of women’s fiction, and her novel Through the Lens will be released from Crimson Romance later in 2012.

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Haven't seen this yet, but I definitely want to, if for no other reason than the ridiculously gorgeous Michael Ealy. :DDD As for why it's such a success...not sure. I know I always want to see romantic comedies, even if I think I'm going to be disappointed (looking at you, The Ugly Truth, Leap Year, etc.), but I think it must be for a little of all the reasons you mentioned. I especially think it doesn't hurt that there's enough guy humor that men don't mind seeing it either.
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I really want to see this, too, but I'm gonna have to wait until it's on DVD (I haven't seen the Hunger Games yet either, fer goodness' sake!) Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Kwana!
K.M. Jackson
3. kwanawrites
@redline_ Michael Ealy is for sure a good reason. But so is the comedy of Kevin Hart and the cute love stories. I had such a good time. It was an easy night out and you could see lots of yourself or your friends in the characters.

@MFrampton you're welcome and get to the movies. Nothing like sitting in the theater with the popcorn and the crowd.
4. tms2cks
It's a truly funny movie. Right now, I think we could use more to laugh about and find joy in while at the movies. It reaches all of those notes and includes a great looking cast. The word of mouth alone should make it an even more successful. I went to see it and I will purchase it when it comes out on DVD. It doesn't discuss racial lines, it discusses the universal language of relationships. Everyone can see themselves in at least one of the characters.
K.M. Jackson
5. kwanawrites
@tm2cks I totally agree, "it discusses the universal language of relationships". Well said.
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