CHRIS TOOKEY: Think Like a Man: The longest book advert in history

Think Like a Man: The longest book advert in history



01:09 GMT, 22 June 2012

Think Like a Man (12A)

Verdict: A 'how to' manual, on film

Book worm: Gabrielle Union

Book worm: Gabrielle Union

This is not so much a film as an insufferably aggressive exercise in product placement.

This two-hour infomercial is dedicated to plugging Steve Harvey’s instruction manual about relationships, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man.

When we’re not having the egomaniacal, thrice-married Mr Harvey offering us advice straight to camera, we get the characters telling us what a great book it is.

I kept hoping the film would turn into a subversive satire on ‘how to’ books that reduce the complexity of relationships to stereotypes and clichs, but no such luck.

If you can look beyond all that hectoring self-publicity, Tim Story’s film is a good-natured romcom about the battle between the sexes, with an ensemble cast that’s likeable, with the exception of Kevin Hart, who plays a divorced guy who screeches incomprehensibly like Jerry Lewis at his most demented.

Despite their lousy taste in literature, the six women on display are so attractive that it’s impossible to believe they can’t find more suitable suitors than a sextet of emotionally illiterate man-children.

In keeping with the film’s unconscious sexism is the casting in a supporting role of rapper Chris Brown, nowadays best known for hospitalising his then girlfriend Rihanna, who had to take out a restraining order against him.

I guess he hadn’t read the book.