If I had to publicly speak on why I really want all of our readers, black, white, in between and neither to go see this movie, it would take everything in me to not fall to me knees and plead "For the love of God, bacon, and all things holy, just go see this movie please!!!!" That's how badly I want this movie to do well and for a number of reasons. Can we talk?
The main reason being goes back to why I wouldn't and still haven't gone to see The Help. I'm not saying I will never see it. I am just saying that I need about two good movies portraying black people in everyday, modern day situations before I will watch it. You see, I'm not much of a movie goer. The majority of the movies I watch are romantic comedies. I don't really do dramas and end of the world movies with all sorts of explosions and calamity. I like modern day romance stories. I don't watch movies that look like they are going to make me cry. Life is dramatic enough without my having to go through all sorts of emotional changes over something fictional. I love to laugh and I love love. Unfortunately, the majority of the romantic comedies I have come to love over my lifetime do not have people in them that look like me. I mean as much as some people can't stand Tyler Perry, you'd be hard pressed to count on both hands the number of movies within the past five years where a black woman fell in love with a good man that wasn't one of his movies.
And speaking of black men in entertainment that get the most flack, I have read more headlines on blogs speaking against this movie because of hatred for Steve Harvey than are for it and that is sad to me. The comments seem to be "why do I have to think like a man?" or "who is Steve Harvey to give love advice anyway?" For one thing, it's not that serious. Let's just take him out of the equation. The book really is no different than He's Just Not Into You anyway and I don't remember hearing people going off about that. Secondly, even if you aren't a Steve Harvey fan let's go support this young black cast! I am so excited for this ensemble that includes Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy, Megan Good, Kevin Hart and happy that they are in a movie that doesn't look like Soul Plane.
We need more movies that look like this! One of my favorite movies of all time is Boomerang. Part of the reason why is that the plot was a universal plot. Any race of characters could have been in that movie. It had over 100 million dollars box office sales and I was so proud of what that movie accomplished.You vote with your dollars. If we want more movies like that we have got to make a conscious effort to support, especially on opening weekend. That's where it really counts. If it's good and it does well then more movies like it can get made. From what I understand, these movies are hard to get financial backing. Anyone remember how much George Lucas went through to get Red Tails made? Grant it that was a different type of movie but the bottom line was Hollywood didn't think that black people would support it. I think it took a lot of us getting offended by that alone to make sure that we supported it opening weekend.
Another reason that I want everyone to go see this movie is because of a gross generalization that unfortunately I believe to be true and I'd really like to be proven wrong. I hate gross generalizations but this is how I feel. Part of the reason that I didn't want to see The Help was because I just knew that it was going to do really well. I knew it was going to do well because I believe that many of the white audience that went to see it are far more comfortable seeing blacks as maids or lower class people that need to be rescued than they are in seeing them in roles much like the ones in Think Like a Man or Boomerang (Hey if you think I'm wrong about that, I'm not scared to be wrong. Just think about it some and then let me know why you think so). Too often black people are portrayed as people to feel sorry for or to be laughed at. The exception to this would be The Cosby Show. One of the things Bill Cosby said about The Cosby Show was that he wanted to create a show where the audience was laughing with black people versus at black people. And what's crazy is that his show was criticized for not being realistic. A black affluent family where the father is a doctor and the mother is a lawyer? Not realistic. However I would almost bet money that if it was a white family where the father was a doctor and the mother was a lawyer and they adopted two poor black children, you wouldn't hear anyone say that was unrealistic. I'm not blaming this perception on anyone. I don't want to play the blame game. I am just simply saying that things have got to get better and they way black people are perceived in the media has got to get better. If our dollars can make a difference, then let's get out there and make a difference.
So if you like romantic comedies and you took your girls to go see Sex and the City, rally them together this weekend to go see Think Like A Man. Then I want you to come back to BGLU and let us know what you thought about it. I am going to see it this weekend and I so hope that it's everything I want it to be. And by everything I want it to be, I simply mean a fair, non-degrading representation of young black people.