When it comes to matters of the heart, keeping her man happy and committed is all in a day's work for Shanté Smith. Shanté is so adept at navigating the waters of romance that her best girlfriends Diedre, Karen and Tracye depend on her for advice whenever "man trouble" clouds the horizon. But when Shanté's boyfriend Keith is caught red-handed stepping out with a co-worker, Shanté institutes her "Ten Day Plan" to get her man in line. Whether its sexy lingerie or good home cooking, Shanté has an arsenal of weapons designed to bring a man to his knees...and back to her. She's not above playing the damsel in distress or using the ever-reliable local grapevine to get Keith's attention. It's all good, because getting her man back - by any means necessary - is all that matters. Unfortunately the happy ending that Shanté expects goes sideways when Keith begins following the advice of his buddy Tony, who brings a player's perspective to the games girls play. In this comedic battle of the sexes...Written by
Vivica A. Fox turned down this role a few times because she didnt approve of the script at first. But she obviously did it and it was her first starring role. See more »
The bouquet of flowers is unwrapped when Shante receives them at the beginning of the movie. When the top of the convertible opens, they are wrapped in plastic. When she arrives home, they are unwrapped again. See more »
Two Can Play That Game
Written by Kristen Jurgenson, Justin Henderson and Darryl Hughes
Performed by KJ
Courtesy of C4 Records See more »
Let the games begin!
Shanté Smith (Vivica A. Fox) is a confident, successful, beautiful woman. She knows how to handle her man, she knows how to navigate the shark-infested business waters, and she knows how to dress for success in both the bedroom and the boardroom. Shanté is the envy of her best girlfriends Diedre, Karen and Tracye (Mo'Nique, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Tamala Jones), who always turn to their wise mentor for romantic advice. But what happens when the teacher unexpectedly becomes the student? Shanté has a few things to learn, she realizes, when she catches her man Keith (Morris Chestnut) in the arms of her business rival, Conny (Gabrielle Union). Shanté immediately puts her step-by-step "Ten Day Plan" into action to get him back in line and back to her. Unfortunately the happy ending that Shanté fully expects goes upside down when Keith begins following the advice of his buddy Tony (Anthony Anderson), who brings a player's perspective to the games girls play. Fox carries Two Can Play That Game, and she carries it well. She is able to play her character in the traditional manner, and directly address the audience with sassy little asides. Doing this is risky and it usually doesn't work, but in this case Fox as Shanté is so likeable she easily draws the audience into her world and makes us feel that we're a part of it. First-time director Mark Brown (producer of "How To Be A Player") should be commended for being able to strike this precarious balance. So too should the scribe -- hey, it's Mark Brown again! -- who wrote a witty, enchanting script. There's all-out comedy (when Shanté is on the sixth day of her Ten Day Plan, she must get out there and date. you've never seen an assembly line of so many hilarious losers) balanced with believable, heartfelt romance.
While Fox does carry this comedy of the heart, she is well-supported by a standout cast of talented, likeable actors. Morris is almost as foxy as Fox as they love and spar; Anderson is so laugh-out-loud funny you'll need to bring tissues to the theatre; Mo'Nique is so cool you'll want her for your own best friend; and the smooth, sexy singer Bobby Brown is practically unrecognizable in a cameo appearance as a buck-toothed mechanic in desperate need of a makeover. Most of the characters in Two Can Play That Game are in need of a little "makeover" -- particularly when it comes to how they look at love and romance. But the movie itself needs no such makeover. It's perfect just the way it is.
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