Kevin Hart is noticeably short for a guy. He has a standup comedy show called I’m a Grown Little Man for Pete’s sake. At that height it’s either be the jokester or become the joke. Well, Kev’s laughing all right — all the way to the bank. Hart has all but been omitted from lists of comedians on the verge of a huge breakthrough. That may all change with his stellar performance in last weekend’s box office hit, Think Like a Man, which offers him just the type of exposure he needs to reach a larger audience. As Cedric, a bitter divorcee who can’t stop talking about his wife or arguing with her, Hart is knee-slapping funny. And he’s following up that breakthrough role with a small but punch-line-heavy part in this weekend’s big release The Five-Year Engagement.
Hart’s moment hasn’t popped up out of the blue. He’s been on the scene for a while now. You might remember him from 2004’s Soul Plane, which wasn’t exactly Oscar worthy, but Hart’s execution of comedy made up for a lot of what the film lacked. And since then, he’s lent his talents to blockbuster hits like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Barbershop and Death at a Funeral. He also had an amusing interlude as a warlock in the short-lived fantasy parody Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire on Comedy Central.
What do you know? It took rom-com Think Like a Man to knock Hunger Games off its four week throne. Based on Steve Harvey’s New York Times best-seller Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the film far surpassed its $17 million projections and raked in $33 million opening weekend, topping The Lucky One and Hunger Games respectively. The never-ending quest for love is real.
Although rom-coms are popular in the sense that many of them become household names, they aren’t always respected. Yet we can’t resist the good and the awfully bad love movies that make us laugh and say, “Awwww. How cute.” But who would have thought a dating movie with a predominantly black cast would be the one to give Hunger Games a run for its money? Here are five reasons Think Like a Man knocked it out of the park.
1. Oprah co-signed the book.
If Mother Oprah puts her name to anything (except her OWN Network, of course), it’s a hit. Being on Oprah’s show opened Harvey up to a whole new demographic. With that one nod from the Queen herself, the success of the book and its adaptation was inevitable.
2. Women love dating advice, even when it comes from questionable sources.
According to the L.A. Times, “Moviegoers who saw Think Like a Man — a largely female crowd, 62 percent of whom were 30 or older — loved the film, assigning it an average grade of A, according to market research firm CinemaScore.” Of course women flocked to theaters in droves: There’s a certain fascination with listening to advice doled out by men on to find love, which is why self-help relationship books are one of the top selling genres. Tell a woman sexist advice on how to get and keep a man,
even if you’ve been married three times yourself, cha-ching!
3. The cast transcends the story.