Posted by Nicci | Posted in Books and Magazines, News | Posted on 25-04-2012
Tags: As Seen On TV, Infomercials
For years, infomercials have used the power of the airwaves to sell products using direct response television marketing. In the past, infomercials were often longer than typical commercials, though current trends sell As Seen On TV products on infomercial ads that are generally the same length as ordinary commercials. However, a new film may just extend the infomercial beyond commercial length and beyond the television screen.
Think Like a Man is a romantic comedy directed by Tim Story (Barbershop, Fantastic Four, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer) and starring Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union, and Kevin Hart. The premise of the story is that four women who have nearly given up on their men have turned to a relationship book to help them get the men to do what they want. When the men find out what they women have been up to, they try to turn the tables on their wives and girlfriends.
The relationship book the women use to manipulate the men in the story is the real bestseller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by actor, comedian, and Family Feud host Steve Harvey. While Harvey’s book is not the first relationship self-help book to inspire a movie (see: He’s Just Not That Into You), the film Think Like a Man is being criticized for being too heavy-handed in pushing Harvey’s book. In fact, several reviewers have said the continued references to Harvey and his book take the film from being a romantic comedy to being an infomercial for Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
Reviewer Alonso Duralde of Reuters writes, “If you don’t mind enduring the film’s infomercial aspects, “Think Like a Man” winds up being an entertaining romantic comedy covering the very familiar ground of the differences between men and women, and the strategies that women must employ to get men to put that ring on their finger. Once Harvey himself disappears about halfway through, the movie has an easier time finding its own voice.” He seems to assert that the commercial approach detracts from what is otherwise an entertaining film. He writes that the film is “saddled with an adaptation that’s constantly calling attention to the source material,” and contrasts it to He’s Just Not That Into You, “another adaptation of a non-fiction dating guide, albeit one where the authors were happy to remain off-screen.”
Of course, film versions of popular books are nothing new, and product placement is nothing new. So what happens when you combine the two? According to critics of Think Like a Man, you get a feature length infomercial at cinema pricing.
Have you seen Think Like a Man? Do you agree with critics that it is more infomercial than movie, or did you enjoy the film?