Two Can Play That Game
2 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
the rules are simple This is another of those undemanding rom-coms from black America that's full of attitude and energy, and yet doesn't really offer anythign particularly new to a general cinema audience. Shante (Fox) is a very successful ad exec who knows she has a good man in the equally successful Keith (Chestnut). So she spends her time helping her friends (Jones, Robinson and Mo'Nique) sort out all their man trouble by teaching them the rules of the relationship game. Then she gets in a small spot of bother herself when she catches Keith out with a woman from the office. And she also doesn't much like his working with the town 'ho (Union). So she starts a 10-day procedure to get him back. But he and his pal (Anderson) are playing the game too.

There's not a moment in this film when you don't know how it's going to end. And this makes the devise of having Shante narrate the entire film straight to camera, often right in the middle of a strong scene (or a romantic clinch). This cinematic device is so overused that it snaps us out of the story every time, so any chance for us to get involved in the story is pretty much out the window. And the cast of superb actors overplays their characters like they're in a spoof. They're always so "up" that they begin to wear us out, especially the switching back and forth between Fox's nonstop commentary and Chestnut's loud dialog with Anderson. There's still good stuff here, especially the final message, which is pretty obvious from the start, but never mind. At least it's fairly harmless and cute, with a few funny moments.

cert 15 themes, language 26.Jul.02

dir-scr Mark Brown
with Vivica A Fox, Morris Chestnut, Anthony Anderson, Tamala Jones, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Mo'Nique, Gabrielle Union, Bobby Brown, Ray Wise, Dondre T Whitfield, Yul L Spencer, David Krumholtz
release US 7.Sep.01; US 13.Sep.02
01/US 1h30

She's a bad mamma jamma. Keith tries to slip a smooth move on his angry girlfriend Shante (Chestnut and Fox).

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2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall