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

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Advertisement
Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

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.