Two Can Play That Game

"Excellent"

Two Can Play That Game Review


Two Can Play That Game turns love into a brutal battleground of the sexes. It's not about relationships as much as it is about the "rules" they abide by (or don't abide by). A twisted version of Angela Bassett in How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Vivica A. Fox stars as a successful businesswoman named Shante Smith. She's a player, as she explains in the opening scenes, knowing as much as there is to know about the "rules" of love.

Shante has a bunch of friends, and a handsome, charming boyfriend named Keith Fenton (Morris Chestnut), a successful lawyer himself. One night, Shante finds her love dancing with another woman at a nightclub -- and so begins the vicious battles of the sexes. Will the two get back together, or will this be the end of their relationship?

As is obviously intended, Two Can Play That Game is sure to hit big with the African American audience, but it should also be treasured as a great date movie for the moviegoing public at large. It's got the kind of friskiness that makes you exchange glances with the stranger seated next to you because both of you know how many things it gets right about relationships. With as many twists and turns as this romantic comedy takes, you're sure to have a good time.

Still, while the production contains all the correct ingredients, it uses them in the wrong recipe. It hits a humorous bulls-eye with plenty of cultural issues, but it lacks the very substance it's made of: True love. The film, written and directed by Mark Brown, makes a common Hollywood mistake of confusing sexuality with true passion. Not that this destroys the film; in fact, for an R-rated sex comedy, this is very tame material. This production takes risks, but for a movie that concerns itself so much with romance, it just doesn't get any of that across convincingly.

With frequent soliloquies, intrusive narration, and a central character that very much takes center stage, Shante does not just narrate the film, she explains it. Throughout the journey, she speaks directly to the camera. Seldom do filmmakers gamble their success on such an unusual style, but the conceit gives the movie a sense of independence, attitude, and a unique, experimental flavor. Fox's performance keeps energy alive, even when she knows her mouth is running a little too much. It's surprisingly entertaining.

Alas, the film does not really earn its ending. It doesn't persuasively prove the characters' sudden realizations. But who cares? Two Can Play That Game is still light-hearted and fluffy. It exists solely to please the audience, but it also works as a social commentary.

What game is that?



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: 4 / 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

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

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.