Think like yourself... Love like you mean it!
By Kharisma McIlwaine
Everyone wants to experience love! The feeling of being swept off of your feet, the butterflies, the feeling of falling and hoping the person whose arms you want to be in the most will be there to catch you.. Love! There is something innate in all of us that longs for love, but love can be a bit of an anomaly! How do you go about actually finding love? Once you find a situation where there is mutual interest, how do you maintain it? In 2009 comedian, actor, television and radio host Steve Harvey decided that he could answer some of these questions and many more by writing the book 'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.'
In the book Harvey tackles a number of topics that force women to rock the boat and to ask questions like "Where is this going?", "What are your short and long term goals?" etc. It was only a matter of time before this New York Times best seller was adapted into a film.
I had the pleasure of seeing the film at an early press screening and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! From start to finish there was non- stop comedy, amazing on screen chemistry, and a stand out cast. The film follows four women as they struggle to find the answers to why their current relationships with men continue to go left instead of right. The cast includes Maya The 90 Day Girl played by Meagan Good, Candance The Single Mom played by Regina Hall, Lauren The Woman Who is Her Own Man played by Taraji P. Henson, and Kristen The Ring Girl played by Gabrielle Union.
While in the midst of their love woes, the ladies stumble upon Steve Harvey's book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man and decide to test his theory on relationships with the men in their lives. The book in the film was the game changer, empowering the women and confusing the men. Their men, a group of close friends includes Zeke The Player played by Romany Malco, Cedric The Happily Divorced Guy played by Kevin Hart, Michael The Mama's Boy played by Terrence J, Jeremy The Non-Committer played by Jerry Ferrara, Bennett The Happily Married Guy played by Garry Owen, and Dominic The Dreamer played by Michael Ealy.
Think Like A Man takes you through twists, turns and pulls on your heart strings with a battle of the sexes like no other. The 90 Day Girl tries to tame The Player by setting her standards high and not budging, The Single Mom fights to be the number one lady in the life of The Mama's Boy, The Woman Who is Her Own Man has to decide if The Dreamers dreams are big enough to outweigh her superficial desire for a man with a certain status, while The Ring Girl tries to get her college sweetheart to finally make a real commitment. Kevin Hart... well Kevin just makes you laugh, a lot, out loud! In addition to a well written script and enjoyable story line, there was A LOT of eye candy in this film which brings me to the highlight of my whole Think Like A Man experience.
Initially when I found out that I was invited to the press screening of Think Like A Man I was told that I would also be interviewing Steve Harvey. My dad has been a fan of his since Kings of Comedy and so have I. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts during his visit to Philadelphia he was unable to do the interview prior to the red carpet premiere of the film. I was disappointed about not doing the interview, that is until I found out that I would be interviewing Michael Ealy! He is gorgeous in a way that is somewhat distracting, and the icing on the cake is that he is humble, down to earth and serious about his craft.
It didn't hurt that he smelled yummy too! Michael's passion for acting was evident as he took on the role of Dominic in Think Like A Man. I had quite a few questions for Michael the first being was he single (I was asking for a friend) and surprisingly he said yes. I started the interview with Michael candidly discussing his view on relationships and how difficult they can be especially when you have a public profile. I asked him how he related to the character Dominic who I felt was a completely new character for him to play.
"Dominic represents a phase in my life, Zeke represents a phase in my life, and Jeremy represents a phase in my life." The most shocking moment of the interview was when he shared that like Dominic he too was dumped for not having his stuff together (hard to believe I know). He also shared that past experience paired with his participation in the film helped him to realize that "Potential is important! It's not the end all be all but it's important but what's even more important than potential is patience. If you don't have patience you could potentially be missing out on a very big blessing".
I haven't seen a cast quite like that of Think Like A Man in some time so I found it necessary to address what it is like being an actor of color, knowing that we are not offered prominent roles as frequently as we should be. He responded by saying "I feel like the bigger issue with being an African American actor is not the quantity of films but the quality and that's the blessing of Think Like A Man to me because here you have a film and it wasn't written with color, it was casted with color... I wasn't written black I'm just human".
That was a profound statement and one I've been echoing for years. I hope additional casting directors are paying attention. The film does a great job at depicting the human condition, the games we sometimes play to try to gain leverage, and how when you let go of the games, the need to control, and just take it all in, falling in love is worth it every time. Michael said it best "It is fun to fall in love".
The whole notion of thinking like a man is an idea based on the understanding that if you don't know what it is that you need from a relationship and are unable to vocalize it to the opposite sex, your needs will not be met. Even if you don't agree with everything you've read or heard from the book there is a substantial amount of helpful information in it.
The overall theme of the book and now the film is to learn how to love yourself first and then you can learn how to be loved in a relationship that will give you the fulfillment that you desire. Love is not strategic but making better choices in who we give our hearts to is essential. I highly recommend Think Like A Man, be sure to check it out when it hits theaters on Friday April 20th!
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