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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.7%
Worth A Look: 16.22%
Pretty Bad: 37.84%
Total Crap: 2.7%

5 reviews, 7 user ratings

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I Think I Love My Wife
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by Lybarger

"I think I want a refund."
2 stars

Chris Rock is a talented and observant standup comic whose wit rarely comes across on the big screen. The yelling delivery that’s a riot on an HBO special comes off as shrill in a movie theater, and his best material stays with him in the clubs. He can blame many of his flops on filmmakers who don’t understand comedy. Unfortunately, with “I Think I Love My Wife,” he’s at the mercy of a hack co-writer and director named Chris Rock.

I’ll give Rock and his co-writer Louis C.K. credit for wanting to tackle the issues that French director Eric Rohmer explored in his 1972 movie “Chloe in the Afternoon.” It’s good that they long to examine sexual and racial concerns in a manner that’s a bit more sophisticated than a booze-soaked audience might be able to understand in a loud, smoke-filled bar.

Unfortunately, Chris Rock, the filmmaker, isn’t up to the task.

His ham fisted approach (lots of title cards and lame fantasy sequences) results in adult subject matter being treated in a manner that’s beneath most teenagers. Rock and C.K. load the film with a protracted voice over that drones with repetitive, stale lines that Rock would probably reject from his standup. When an attractive woman shows up on the subway, Rock muses, “She’s a painting, one I’d like to mount.”

It also doesn’t help that Rock recycles the Michael Jackson jokes he’s already recited in front of crowds. At times, “I Think I Love My Wife” plays less like a movie and more like a dull blooper reel.

The story involves an investment banker named Richard Cooper (Rock) whose marriage to schoolteacher Brenda (Gina Torres) is slowly going stale. After nearly a decade together, the two are in counseling and are not even having sex.

Richard spends his days ogling all of the attractive women who pass him by on the sidewalks of New York. When a past acquaintance named Nikki (Kerry Washington) wanders back into his life, Richard winds up spending his lunch breaks with her and gradually becomes heavily involved in her life. She even starts showing up at his office, leading everyone else in the building to think they’re having an affair.

They’re not, but Richard’s marriage and career are suffering just the same, because he’s starting to prefer the vibrant, if irresponsible Nikki to his marital cocoon.

It’s not terribly fun or even interesting to see Richard wreck his life because Rock and C.K. don’t really think of enough material to deal with the setup. There’s an inordinate amount of dead space in “I Think I Love My Wife,” and Rock as a performer is out of his element in some of the more dramatic scenes.

Eric Rohmer’s movies may be an acquired taste, but in his deliberately paced tales viewers can learn for themselves how ordinarily smart people can do foolish things when their hormones lead them astray. Rock’s characters, on the other hand, seem to be courting trouble from the outset and appear to merely get what they deserve.

There have been rumors that the film reflects Rock’s recent marital woes. This is of no concern to a viewer because if any thing other than a cheap punchline from Rock’s life has made it into the film, it’s hard to tell.

Rock has commented that it’s tricky for a comedian to play straight roles because their comedic parts can be just as challenging. He lamented that he couldn’t imagine a fan saying, “Hey! Come on, let's go see Chris Rock not be funny!” Now he can.

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originally posted: 03/17/07 16:05:45
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User Comments

11/01/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 5 stars
9/15/07 Marty decent until the wtf sing-a-long ending. where the hell did that come from? 3 stars
9/13/07 cpbjr not terribly rewarding. did have a GREAT line in it. 3 stars
8/18/07 mr.mike i'd pay to watch kerry washington read the phone book 3 stars
4/05/07 William Goss Precisely what Snider said. Little laughs, less insight. 2 stars
3/22/07 Stacy They had a boy and a girl... Not "two adorable little girls"... otherwise, agreed. 2 stars
3/22/07 smatco i dont see this film 1 stars
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  16-Mar-2007 (R)
  DVD: 07-Aug-2007

  N/A (15)


[trailer] Trailer

Directed by
  Chris Rock

Written by
  Chris Rock
  Louis C.K.

  Chris Rock
  Kerry Washington
  Gina Torres
  Steve Buscemi

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