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

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.