There’s something comforting about watching a good ol’ formulaic romantic comedy, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Tim Story’s summer sequel, “Think Like a Man Too,’’ the follow-up to 2012’s “Think Like a Man.’’
The film fits the genre mold to a T: predictable plot roadblocks, mushy gushy moments, and more than enough funny bits. Story delivers an unrealistic, but hilarious take on pre-wedding traditions and ultimately proves why no one should have a bachelor/bachelorette party in Vegas the night before their wedding.
Part 2 leaves the Steve Harvey-narrated, couples-centered plot of the first book-to-film adaptation behind, instead focusing on the only semi-single fella in the movie, Cedric (Kevin Hart).
Keith Merryman and David Newman drafted a screenplay for the second film that allows Hart to shine as the film’s star and the narrator, chronicling the debauchery that both the ladies and fellas get into while in Sin City.
Hart’s character, a disgruntled man on a 30-day break from his separated wife, travels to Vegas be the best best man in the world to friend Michael (Terrence Jenkins), who is prepping to marry Candace (Regina Hall).
Cedric played second fiddle in much of the first film, also written by Merryman and Newman, providing comedic relief as four couples (Michael and Candace, Mya and Zeke, Kristen and Jeremy, Lauren and Dom), formed or were bettered thanks to advice from Harvey’s book.
There isn’t much room for Harvey’s advice in the second film since the trouble the groups are getting into have more to do with gambling and strippers than first dates and bedroom problems, but he was still involved as an executive producer.
Harvey and the rest of the producers kept the film classy and playful, making it suitable for teenagers and adults alike.
The film’s predictable-yet-enjoyable tone is set early when Michael promises Candace a “perfect wedding weekend’’ where nothing goes wrong (see, predictable), but not everything is hunky dory between the couple. She’s still caught up in the drama with his overprotective mama, Miss Loretta (played by Jennifer Lewis), who thinks Candace isn’t good enough for her baby boy.
Other romantic problems come to light early, adding to the story line’s easily forecasted future: Zeke (Romany Malco) bumps into Vegas friends who refer to him fondly as Zeke the Freak, much to the dismay of Mya (Meagan Good) who gets pissed because he kept his past from her; Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) comes up short in the bedroom when Kristen (Gabrielle Union) tries to order him to get busy because she’s dying to get pregnant; Lauren (Taraji P. Henson) gets a job offer to move to New York without telling Dominic (Michael Ealy) because she doesn’t want to ruin the moment.
The only couple in the movie that doesn’t have any problems is the token white, married, boring couple, Tish (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and Bennett (Gary Owen), who serve as a heaping welcome dose of comedic relief in the second film.
The groups spend 24 hours wining, dining, indulging, pool-siding, avoiding (their problems, Miss Loretta), and doing other fun things you do (but never talk about again) when in Vegas. One of the best parts: When the ladies, including the sexily made-over Tish, make their own music video for Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison’’ (below).
The film’s technical soundtrack is actually an entirely new collection of Mary J. Blige songs (worth listening to), but the rest of the music in the film is worth noting as it was perfectly selected to modify particular scenes (i.e. Kevin Hart’s Cedric pulling a “Risky Business’’ in his boxer briefs while Pitbulll’s “I Know You Want Me’’ rocks the theater).
If you’re looking for a flick that’s 70 percent punchy comedy, 25 percent drama, and 5 percent over-the-top sappy-romantic fluff that most women gag at (but secretly want), all set to a great soundtrack, “Think Like a Man Too’’ will get the job done.