Two Can Play That Game
In reducing the rules of romance to a 10-day plan for repairing a breakup, Two Can Play That Game
tickles a few funny bones while "keepin' it real" about heartbreak and human behavior. Our hostess through this marathon of head games is 28-year-old Shanté (Vivica A. Fox--emphasis on the fox
), who speaks to the camera so much that critic Roger Ebert nicknamed this movie "Waiting to Inhale." In a film packed with positive stereotypes (no crack-smoking gangstas here, thank you), she's a successful marketing executive, and her straying boyfriend is a high-profile attorney (Morris Chestnut). Their turbulent romance survives Shanté's 10-day power play, but not all viewers will be so lucky, since this movie is alternately charming and aggravating, and there's precious little romance while the lovers are plotting their moves. Still, it's a safe bet that many people will appreciate this movie's endearing lesson--namely, that sincere groveling can save you lots of time and heartache. --Jeff Shannon
Think of it as a male version of Waiting to Exhale. The Brothers similarly features four good friends who offer each other advice and support as they navigate the strange and treacherous waters of romantic relationships. Jackson (Morris Chestnut) is a doctor with serious commitment problems; he has dreams about a woman in a bridal gown aiming a gun at him. Brian (Bill Bellamy) is a lawyer with a caustic view of the opposite sex, inspired in large part by his untrusting and unaffectionate mother; he also has commitment problems. Upwardly mobile professional Terry (Shemar Moore) is a well-muscled womanizer who's finally decided to settle down, but as the wedding draws close it becomes clear that he, too, has commitment problems. Fortunately, the fourth member of the quartet, Derrick (D.L. Hughley), is married and devoted to his family--except that his wife refuses to engage in anything but straight missionary sex, which Derrick sees as manipulative. The Brothers depicts a glamorous world in which everyone is good-looking and well dressed; the number of characters makes it hard to delve into anyone's life with any depth, but the actors are engaging and the script makes an effort to look at the "battle of the sexes" from both sides. The immensely charming Gabrielle Union (from Bring It On) plays the girl who just might convince Jackson to give up his single ways. --Bret Fetzer
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.