In 2012, moviegoers were advised to act like a lady, think like a man.
Now, they can suspend acting like a lady while they think like a man and party like one, too. After all, the gang has traveled to Las Vegas for the destination wedding of former mama’s boy Michael (Terrence Jenkins) and single mom Candace (Regina Hall) in the comedy “Think Like a Man Too.”
Starring: Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Terrence Jenkins, Michael Ealy, Taraji P. Henson.
Rating: PG-13 for for crude sexual content including references, partial nudity, language and drug material.
While they try to keep the groom’s domineering mother, Loretta (Jenifer Lewis), from hijacking their plans, Cedric (Kevin Hart) is determined to be the best best man ever, even renting a swanky suite at Caesars Palace that comes with its own personal butler. He’s separated, again, from his wife, and when it comes to playing blackjack, well, he’s no Ben Affleck.
The womanizer once known as Zeke the Freak (Romany Malco) keeps bumping into faces from his past, which does not go over well with girlfriend Mya (Meagan Good). Newlyweds played by Gabrielle Union and Jerry Ferrara are trying to conceive while businesswoman Taraji P. Henson and rising chef Michael Ealy weigh whether their relationship trumps enticing job offers.
Gary Owen, once called “black America’s favorite white comedian,” returns, and Wendi McLendon-Covey turns up as his wife, who envisions a momcation playing slots, checking out the gift shop and taking selfies until the other women invite her to celebrate, once she ditches the sensible outfit, sweater twin set included.
And they’re off, with the battle of the bachelor-bachelorette parties, although Michael doesn’t want a wild and crazy night. But it turns into one, for both groups who collide in a comic way that had people at a preview howling with sustained laughter, even more than during “22 Jump Street.”
“Think Like a Man Too” is like “The Hangover” for adults who want racy material but PG-13 rather than R. So you get accidental ingestion of weed, topless women at a pool but photographed only from the back, stripper poles and male and female dancers who are dressed, although in a risque fashion.
But mainly you get Mr. Hart, who comes off as the hardest working man in show business. It’s impossible to know when he’s ad-libbing — a reference to “The Color Purple” here, HBO’s prison series “Oz” there — or simply selling the lines from returning writers Keith Merryman and David Newman. They’re back from the first, as is director Tim Story, who also paired Mr. Hart with Ice Cube for “Ride Along.”
“Think Like a Man Too,” which squeezes in a reference to Steve Harvey, whose best-seller inspired the 2012 release, is not groundbreaking or side-splitting throughout, but it is satisfying and generally relatable, whether you’ve ever posed in front of the Bellagio fountains, only seen the Vegas Strip from the window of a plane or never ventured that far west.
Most of all, though, it’s well-cast on both sides of the aisle, with Dennis Haysbert, La La Anthony, Adam Brody and David Walton also joining the already substantial list of performers. “Think Like a Man Too” coincidentally mentions “Jersey Boys” the stage show, inspiration for the movie also opening today, but only as the entertainment choice of the whitest guy in the room.
Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: www.post-gazette.com/madaboutmovies.