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Originally published Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM

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Movie review

If you 'Think Like a Man,' you may not like this ho-hum rom-com

A review of "Think Like a Man," a by-the-self-help-book romantic comedy based on Steve Harvey's "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man."

Seattle Times movie critic

Movie review 2.5 stars

'Think Like a Man,' with Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Terrence J, Gabrielle Union. Directed by Tim Story, from a screenplay by Keith Merryman and David A. Newman, based on the book by Steve Harvey. 120 minutes. Rated PG-13 for sexual content, some crude humor and brief drug use. Several theaters.

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As romantic comedies based on self-help books go, "Think Like a Man" unfolds pleasantly enough; you know exactly where it's going, but that's probably the case for the book as well. (This is the year for rom-coms inexplicably based on popular how-to books: "What to Expect When You're Expecting" arrives at multiplexes next month.) This film, inspired by and featuring advice from Steve Harvey's best-seller "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" (with excerpts read cheerily by the author), features four men and four women looking for love. All are using the book for inspiration, and all are hiding that inspiration from their partners. Trouble, misunderstandings and eventual happily-ever-afters ensue.

Directed by Tim Story ("Fantastic Four"), "Think Like a Man" often feels overlong; perhaps it has one couple, and one story, too many. But the cast are all charmers, particularly Michael Ealy as a dreamboat chef, Terrence J as a mama's boy in love with a single mother (Regina Hall), and Gabrielle Union as a woman frustrated by her man-child boyfriend (Jerry Ferrara) and their shared apartment filled with fanboy memorabilia. "Frodo Baggins had it easier," she sighs, to which her friend promptly replies, "I don't do hobbits." It's one of many witty moments in a movie full of them; too bad they're a little too widely spaced.

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