In 2012, Director Tim Story found a fun way to bring comedian Steve Harvey’s relationship advice book, “Act Like a Lady – Think Like A Man” to the screen. He based the romantic comedy story around several couples, each in various stages of relationships with varying types of men and women. The women are all slightly unsatisfied with their relationships, and all start to pick up Steve’s book, and use it to their advantage. The men realize what is happening, and then use the book to their advantage to get the tables to turn back around.
The movie was hilarious and charming and really – it was just as comedian Kevin Hart’s star was on the rise, so he really stole the movie. In the sequel, the couples all head to Las Vegas for the wedding of Michael (the momma’s boy from the first movie) and Candace (the single mom from the first movie). Mya and Zeke, Dominic and Lauren, Kristen and Jeremy, Bennett and Tish, Sonia, and Cedric are all back. And again, Kevin Hart as Cedric steals the show.
He rents a big suite at Ceaser’s Palace for the weekend, thinking he is getting it for $4000 a night (he’s not). As the gang begins to arrive, we learn where each couple is at in their relationship. Jeremy and Kristen are working on having a baby, Bennett and Tish are still happy parents, Candace is still trying to figure out how to deal with Michael’s overbearing mother (surprise! She showed up early in Vegas, and is trying to organize the bachelorette party). Mya is still trying to deal with Zeke’s ‘player’ past, Dominic and Lauren are still trying to balance their careers and dreams with their relationship and Cedric is on leave from Gail for the weekend.
The plot of the movie is very thin, but really, it is almost unnecessary – the movie exists to allow these performers to play. Essentially, the women try to out-pre-wedding-party the guys. It goes about as well as you would expect. Cedric realizes the room is $40,000 a night, the girls do a Bel Biv DeVoe music video, and both parties end up in jail after an altercation at a strip club. Tim Story again gives the cast freedom to be themselves, and that is what gives the movie its charm.
- The first one became a Kevin Hart movie, this one is sold as a Kevin Hart movie. That is a testament to Hart’s work ethic, and his hustle. I find him to be one of the funniest stand ups working today, and he is great in this movie – almost as great as he was in About Last Night. The scene where he first gets into the hotel room and runs circles through it is just flat-out funny. And yes, Wendy Williams briefly cameos as Gail again – and Drake has a very random cameo with her.
- Michael Ealy – who appeared with Hart earlier this year in About Last Night, once again plays ‘dreamer’ Dominic. He dreams of owning his own restaurant, and gets offered a huge job opportunity in this movie, that he then has to consider turning down for the sake of his relationship with Lauren.
- Taraji P. Henson plays ‘career woman’ Lauren. She’s less powerful and dynamic in this movie than she was in the first, but there is just less for her to do in this one. She also gets offered a huge job opportunity by her boss Kelsey Grammar (between this, Trans4mers, Expendables, and X-Men – he’s having quite a year) and then has to consider turning it down for the relationship.
- Jerry Ferrara plays Jeremy – and while not quite the ‘non-committer’ stoner he was in the first movie, he does spend the majority of this movie worried about whether or not he’s ready to have kids. He finally realizes he is after talking with his friends. Dude, why did you not do that first? Whatever.
- Gabrielle Union plays Kristen, who has finally gotten Jeremy to marry her, and is now keeping him on a strict schedule so that they can have a baby as fast as possible. She has even less to do than some of the other women, it was almost like they forgot she was in the movie. That’s fine, if you are really desperate for some better Gabrielle Union action – go watch Bring it On again…but do not watch Bad Boys 2.
- E “news” reporter Terrence Jenkins plays Michael and once again he’s obviously the weakest actor in the group. To be honest, that’s fine, it doesn’t hurt the movie – but it is really clear. Perhaps he will improve as he does more. He really spends the movie doing the same thing he did in the first one, trying to balance his love for his mother with his love for his bride to be. There is finally a confrontation between them in this one, and it works out as you expect. I did enjoy that he kept talking about his college buddies Isaac and Terrell, and his friends where looking forward to meeting them, then they turned out to be Adam Brody and David Walton. Both of them were underused, but were funny in the moments they had.
- Regina Hall – who has been so hilarious for so long (think about all those Scary Movies, and was also in About Last Night, paired with Hart earlier this year) – plays Candace, who again has to balance her love for her son with her love for her husband to be. I wish they had let her go a bit more, but that’s not her role in this. Again, just go watch one of those insane Scary Movies – 3, 4, how many are there?
- Jenifer Lewis again plays stereotype clingy mother Loretta in this movie, however, she is far less annoying in this one than in the previous one. In the first movie she was unbearable, and I couldn’t believe no one had told her off, however, in this one, she takes the ladies out for a spa day, then wants to take them to see Dionne Warwick, instead of letting them go on with their Bachelorette plans. They finally figure out they can set her up with Candace’s uncle Eddie, played by the absolutely delicious Dennis Haysbert (he gets his own smooth music every time he shows up). She does still have some really mean one-liners directed at Candace – but less than in the first movie. By the end of the first movie, I hated her because she was so mean. She’s slightly less mean in this one – slightly.
- Romany Malco plays Zeke and he’s slightly less annoying in this movie than he was in the first as well. He is genuinely trying to give up his player past to focus on his relationship with Mya.
- Meagan Good plays Mya, and she has designed the wedding dress, and is trying to stay focused on the new positive side of Zeke, but a run in with one of his old party pals as soon as they arrive scares her off a bit.
- Gary Owen (who was also in Ride Along with Hart and Ice Cube, and has been a stand up for many years) once again plays Bennett, the big dumb happily married guy. He is happy to be along, and his naïve joy helps make several scenes far more entertaining.
- Wendi McLendon-Covey – the former Groundlings genius from Reno 911 plays Bennett’s wife Tish who comes along for the wedding, and was not planning on going out with the girls, as she doesn’t really know them. However, they quickly bring her in, giving her a quick makeover from her ‘mom’ look, and dragging her along on their adventures.
- La La Anthony shows up as Sonia – and I honestly could not remember her from the first movie. I know she was in it – but I really did not remember her. She suddenly was with the girls as they headed out for the evening, and there was no ‘arrival’ scene for her, which was strange.
- There are some really fun cameos in this movie including Floyd Mayweather Jr., Fonzworth Bentley, George Wallace (who they clearly only had for an hour or so, since he seems to be edited into his shots), Cheryl Hines, and Coco – yes, that Coco. She plays a stripper.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the first movie. This one was simple and fun with far less substance, but sometimes, that is exactly what you want as a reprieve from all the big-time summer blockbusters. Okay – I never want a reprieve from that, but I still liked this movie. Upside on this one, no Chris Brown cameo. Downside on this one? No Morris Chestnut cameo.
6 out of 10 – Gained points for Hart running through his room and his interactions with his butler. Lost points for how mean Loretta is. Gained points for the pool sequence, and how many times Hart told Owen to shut up. Lost points for not having outtakes over the end credits – this is really a movie that I’m sure had dozens of them, and that would have been wonderful. Gained points for the Bel Biv Devoe musical bit, and for Devoe showing up briefly – awesome, but then lost points for Good’s bit of it in which she just writhes on a couch – no, thank you.
Bonus Video 1: Scary Movie 3 – with Hart, Hall, and lots of other funny people. It's almost worth it for the scene in which Regina Hall beats the hell out of the "Ring" ghost.
Bonus Video 2: The basketball sequence from the first one – just an excuse for Kevin Hart to be hilarious.
Bonus Video 3: Cast Interviews