I'm proud of this film's success. Will Packer and Rainforest work hard and they deserve it. But this film is weak on so many levels. Being based on a "self-help" book, this screenplay was crammed with nothing but on-the-nose dialogue that left me bored and fidgety for the most part. Outside of Kevin Hart, there wasn't a single thing funny about this film. Okay, maybe once or twice I laughed but one time it was at something I don't think was meant to be funny (actor Romany Malco singing with his guitar). You can't call a film a comedy where only one character was remotely, or should I say barely humorous. I found more humor in dramas like American Beauty, City Lights, and The Graduate.
This film seemed to just flat-line from beginning to end. When I say flat, I mean literally flat. Nothing happened until the guy-meets-girl moments, and that took a while to get to. Once the relationships started, the weak conflicts seemed to be limited to the superficiality of Steve Harvey's best selling book. No inner conflicts, not even conflict on the extra-personal level.
I could've done without most of the characters which can read like a list of players on a football team. They had no purpose and added nothing to the telling, like the married guy amongst them, Bennett played by Gary Owen. I know a lot of people loved this film. But can anyone seriously say they got to know any of the characters? Also, I had a hard time buying most of the relationships. The worst of them all had to be Jerry Ferrara with Gabrielle Union. It was like having to suspend your disbelief watching them together and that didn't even work for me. I didn't believe they even knew each, let alone them being in a 13 year relationship. At a glance, I would faster believe Union was Ferrara's babysitter or nanny, not her man. It was one big spoof to me.
The next absurd relationship was Regina Hall and the guy from 106 and Park, Terrence Jenkins. I didn't believe he and Hall went to high school at the same time. In fact, she could've passed for his mother as well.
Taraji Henson's relationship with Michael Ealy was also hard to stomach, as I had trouble believing a woman with her success in business wouldn't question Ealy's facade.
I liked the relationship between Meagan Good and Romany Malco but it was so contrived, like everything else about this film.
And the next black film made showing black friends discussing their relationships while trying to play basketball should have little-tree car re-fresheners hanging from theater ceilings for the sake of audiences. Why? Because such expository scenes are a load of steaming crap. Guys don't stand around on the court discussing such things, or play ball while having those kinds of conversations. I know they did it in The Brothers (2001) and it was b.s. then as it still is now.
The telling had no direction, no point-of-view. It could've been anyone or anything's story at any given time, which left me confused and disengaged. I was waiting for the fire hydrant's storyline eventually.
I really wanted to like it, but I couldn't. In the end, I was dissatisfied and utterly annoyed.
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