Inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling self-help book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” the comedy film “Think Like a Man” follows the relationships of a group of friends as they navigate the dating, romance and how men and women have different perspectives on each. The female friends include Kristen (played by Gabrielle Union), Sonia (played by LaLa Anthony), Mya (played by Meagan Good), Lauren (played by Taraji P. Henson) and Candace (played by Regina Hall). The male friends include Cedric (played by Kevin Hart), Zeke (played by Romany Malco), Michael (played by Terrence J), Jeremy (played by Jerry Ferrara), Zeke (played by Romany Malco) and Dominic (played by Michael Ealy).
The balance of power in four couples’ relationships is upset when Kristen, Mya, Lauren and Candace start using the advice in “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” to get more of what they want from their men. When Jeremy, Zeke, Dominic and Michael realize that their women have gotten a hold of their relationship “playbook,” they decide that the best defense is a good offense and come up with a plan to use this information to their advantage. Here is what several stars of the movie said at the Los Angeles press junket for “Think Like a Man.” Here is what several stars of the movie said at the Los Angeles press junket for “Think Like a Man.”
Interview With Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Terrence J and Romany Malco
What did you think of Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”?
Ferrara: Obviously, the book was insanely successful. I think it was a good common-sense thing that I think women just need to hear. I think it’s revealing because it’s about men and what we do, but it’s a little bit of “Why do women act this way when we do this?”
Malco: I think the book is great because it opens up a dialogue. As long as you’re communicating, you’re in a better place. He didn’t necessarily go in depth with every single character he was describing, but what he did do was spark conversation. Kevin was preaching his perspective while we doing the movie. We couldn’t get him to shut up!
Hart: I’ve been known to preach.
Did you have a personal connection with the book?
Hart: It opened up dialogue. Dialogue means debates and everyone’s point of view. On set, our discussions about women, about dating, about long-term relationships about being faithful — we had a lot of stuff to talk about, and I think it made our days go by so much easier. Not only that, it helped with the movie. When you’re supposed to be close and fiends in the film, the moment you’re talking as friend off the set, it makes it that much better when you’re filming. Chemistry.
Why do you think there’s such an ongoing fascination with pointing out how men and women are different?
Ealy: That’s what makes us dope. A woman is dope because she’s a woman, not because she’s thinking just like me. I prefer she think like just like her. She should have insight into how I behave, but I don’t need her to think like me.
What will it take to close the gap?
Terrence J: We’re fundamentally different. We’re raised different. At 6 years old, we’re playing with G.I. Joes and blowing stuff up, and girls are playing with Barbies and putting together relationship. So, their whole life, they’re getting trained for marriage and kids and that stuff. And our whole life, we’re told, “Don’t commit. Don’t settle down.”
Malco: “You’ve got to provide for your kids. You’ve got to figure out what to do.”
Terrence J: We’re apples and oranges.
Ferrara: I agree. I don’t think the gap is ever really going to close or else it would’ve happened already. I don’t think the gap is going to close anytime soon.
Hart: I’m the guy who says stuff that makes everyone uncomfortable. Look, men are like lions. We hunt.
What’s the worst dating advice you ever got?
Hart: I never really received any advice because my dad wasn’t there. I never really received dating advice. My brother tried to explain sex to me when I was 7 — and he did it with a cup. For a long time, I didn’t drink out of a cup for a long time because of what my brother showed me. For a long time, I thought drinking out of a cup was sex. That’s about it for me. I have nothing else.
Malco: Oh, I’m not thirsty. I won’t want to get anyone pregnant!
Terrence J: I think all relationship advice is tainted. I think anyone who gives you relationship advice goes off of past relationships they have that didn’t work. You’ve got to follow your own path.
What are the craziest pickup lines you’ve heard your friends use?
Ferrara: One of my boys dropped one that actually worked, but it’s really stupid. He said, “Give me your number, but only give me seven digits. I’ll figure out the eighth number.” It’s not that difficult to figure out the last one. The girl took it like, “Wow, if you can figure it out, we should talk.”
Hart: I heard Mike [Ealy] tell a girl one time, he looked at her and he said, “Yes, these are my real abs.” Literally, she was like, “O my God.” Next thing I know, he’s kissing her. That night was crazy.
Ealy: That was a wild night.
What’s your all-time favorite African-American romantic movie?
Hart: “Love Jones.”
Terrence J: “Boomerang.”
Hart: “Love Jones” was cool. As a young guy, it made you want to fall in love. As a young guy watching the movie, I was like, “Dang, I can’t wait to fall in love and want a woman as bad as he wants this woman.”
Just the chase between Larenz Tate and Nia Long in that movie and the things that came between them, how one got stubborn, and the other moved on, but in the end, it was about them getting what they both thought they wanted. “Love Jones,” back in the day for me, made me realize what love was. “Boomerang” touched me too.
Terrence J: Also, “Love and Basketball” for me. The music on that, when they play that, it made me fall in love.
Malco: I’m not into romantic movies. One of my favorite romantic stories in a black movie was “City of God.” It didn’t seem like a love story, but when they introduced that part of the story, that was one of the most gripping parts f the movie for me.
Ealy: I’m with Kevin on “Love Jones.” I think what they did right was show audiences the cool-off period. Like when you fall in love, and all of a sudden, that woman’s sitting in a chair next to you on the couch, and it’s just not the same anymore. And the rollercoaster nature of what it is to be in love.
And, of course, there’s the greatest line in that movie that Isaiah Washington had about real love: “Falling in love is easy, but somebody tell me how to stay there.” Once you get [love], sustaining it is probably the hardest thing anybody can do.
Malco: I think it’s kind of intuitive myself. I think we’re supposed to move on. We’re nomadic beings.
Ealy: The best black love movie is “Think Like a Man.”
Interview With Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good and Regina Hall
Can you talk about how “Think Like a Man” portrays relationship issues realistically?
Union: It was nice for us. It was pleasant, not a surprise, but a change of pace. With this movie, with this cast, it was seamless. It was so much fun, and it was real.
Who read Steve Harvey’s book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”? And what did you think about the book?
[Union and Hall raise their hands, while Good half raises her hand.]
Good: I read half of it.
Union: I read it with a group of friends. We did an interpretative reading of the book when it first came out. We did a drunken interpretive reading.
Hall: Was that like a book club?
Union: It wasn’t like a book club. It was like a table read. A lot of us were laughing. We’re older, we’ve been through relationships and been through divorces. It seemed like common sense to us.
But then there were some people who were really quiet. They were like, “Oh,” like taking notes under the table. While we were laughing, they were like, “It’s not so funny. Some of us don’t know this stuff.” It was hitting home. Like, “That’s why I never met his parents.”
Hall: I liked the book. I have brothers though. I’m the only girl and I have three brothers. Some of the stuff [in the book], it doesn’t mean you do it. There’s stuff I knew I shouldn’t do but I did it anyway. Like 88 days.
Good: I thought it was really insightful, because there are a lot of women who don’t know these things. There are some things I read that I thought were interesting, like introducing your kid to the person [you’re dating] right off the bat … because if they don’t like each them, it’s not going to work out.
What’s the worst relationship advice you’ve ever gotten?
Union: “You should just stay. It’ll get better.” No, it won’t. If this was milk, it would be curdled and blue cheese. It’s way past the expiration date. Throw it out.
Hall: When your friends are like, “Maybe he wasn’t lying. He could’ve been in China last night. They have early flights.”
Good: I think [my answer] is the same as Gabby’s. Just to stay in a situation.
Hall: “Maybe he won’t do it again.”
Union: “He was sorry, girl. You’re not going to find someone else like that. Who’s going to put up with all your stuff?”
Hall: “You’re not the easiest person to get along with.” How did this become about me?
Why is there still a “battle of the sexes” gap between men and women?
Hall: God designed us that way. That’s the beauty of it. What fun would it be if we knew it all?
Union: And every so often, things come along that change the landscape of relationships. Your mother can’t really give you relationship advice as it pertains to Twitter. My mom would be like, “Talk to the priest!”
What’s the worst pickup line you’ve ever gotten?
Union: “Brandy, I love you.” And it would’ve been great if I was Brandy.
Hall: “Gab, I love you. You were so good in ‘Bring It On.’” I just say, “Thank you.” You don’t expect to see someone in a moment, and maybe it just comes.
Good: I was with a guy who told me, “You dropped something.” I said, “What?” He said, “The conversation. Let’s pick it up right here.”
What’s your favorite African-American romantic movie?
Union: “Love Jones.” The chemistry between Nia Long and Larenz Tate. I love that movie.
Hall: I did love “Love and Basketball.”
Union: Is it because were both in it?
Hall: A little. I don’t want to repeat, but “Love Jones.” And “The Best Man.”
Good: I love “Boomerang.” It was so full of character and color.
Union: “Coming to America” was great too. And “Think Like a Man.”
For more info: “Think Like a Man” website