Two Can Play That Game

"Weak"

Two Can Play That Game Review


A movie that preaches dishonesty, trickery and manipulation as the keys to romantic happiness, "Two Can Play That Game" is populated by pathetically shallow "players" of both sexes and very talented actors trapped by their skin color in a tired genre of self-perpetuating stereotypes.

"Two Can Play" is about a successful black ad executive (Vivica A. Fox) who thinks her man, a successful black lawyer (Morris Chestnut), may be running around on her. Her solution for shaping him up (rather than confronting him and having an adult conversation or just leaving to find someone better) is to launch into a 10-day plan that includes breaking up, not returning his calls, making sure he sees her with other men, going to his house, getting him hot, then leaving, and a whole litany of other vindictive head games.

Of course, all of this is meant to be risqué and amusing, but in fact it just makes the movie's heroine look like the kind of shrill, immature, self-centered strumpet whom no man in his right mind would want to be saddled with.

Writer-director Mark Brown (who, not surprisingly, penned the similarly callow "How To Be a Player") jumps back and forth between the two warring camps: Fox and her gaggle of "giiiirrrll!"-friends sip wine, talk dirty and strategize how to keep their men whipped. Chestnut and his one-tracked-mind clown of a pal (Anthony Anderson) hunker down on defense, planning rendezvous with skanky tramps (the gorgeous Gabriel Union, for one) and other idiotic demonstrations of vengeful independence, when what Chestnut should be doing is running away as a fast as he can.

Every one of these actors has the goods, but they keep taking interchangeable roles in interchangeable movies about black women having to reign in their black men. Every one of these films ("Baby Boy," "The Brothers" and "love jones" come immediately to mind) has moments of divine comedy or veracity, but they all imply that a woman tricking a philanderer into marrying her is a happy ending. Their respective filmmakers also seem to think cheap, last-reel regrets are all it takes to shore up a flimsy relationship between superficial people.

While these themes are not exclusive to African American cinema, there does seem to be a repetitive pattern emerging and "Two Can Play That Game" is simply more of the same. It also adds a few more patience-testing elements to the mix: A non-stop soundtrack, insultingly blatant product placement and the fact that Fox talks to the camera so much about her "rules" for controlling men that before the very first scene is over she's already come off as an insufferably stuck-up know-it-all.



Two Can Play That Game

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th September 2001

Box Office USA: $22.0M

Budget: $6M

Distributed by: Screen Gems

Production compaines: Screen Gems

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 27 Rotten: 36

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Vivica A. Fox as Shanté Smith, as Keith Fenton, as Tony, as Conny Spalding, as Karen, as Tracey Johnson, as Diedre, as Michael, Dondre Whitfield as Dwain

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Advertisement
Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.