Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I don’t write these rules, these axioms of life and science that hold true.  You know, like E=MC2 or Pi=3.14 or for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and I’m sure you remember ‘Energy can neither be created nor destroyed’ from your high school physics class.  Then there is the theorem of Rock which states that if comedian Chris Rock stars in a movie, it will suck.  Now again, this theorem is not of my creation as it has been supported by far too numerous examples.  I’m not going to bring up ‘Head of State’ or ‘Bad Company’ or ‘Down to Earth’ because I like Chris Rock and believe he is one of the most cutting, biting and funny comedians ever to walk the earth.  But damn his movies suck.  The theorem doesn’t apply to movies that he makes an appearance in, like fine fare such as ‘Nurse Betty’, ‘New Jack City’, ‘Dogma’ or ‘Boomerang’.  This is a good thing, indicating that at least the man’s mere presence in a movie doesn’t bring the production down, just when he headlines.  Seriously, if ‘CB4’ is like your best movie, then you must be doing something wrong.  So in what must be a sure sign of the apocalypse, Chris Rock not only stars, but also directs a GOOD MOVIE with ‘I think I love my Wife’.

A remake of a 1972 French film I have never heard of by the name of ‘Chloe in the Afternoon’, Rock plays Richard Cooper, a successful Manhattan investment banker married seven years to Brenda (Gina Torres), living in the New York suburbs with their two young children.  Problem with this otherwise perfect scenario is the Richard is bored, and this is due in no small part to his wife’s refusal to have sex with the man anymore.  Now why she doesn’t want to do the do, other than the fact she’d have to do it with a guy that looks exactly like Chris Rock, is never fully explained, but there it is.

I should also note that, and I’m not blowing my own horn or anything, but Gina Torres would NOT be holding out this brother here, I don’t care how fine she is.  For real.  I’d have to beat her off.  I got it like that.

Back to reality, Richard gets a surprise visit from the slinky Nikki (Kerry Washington) who used to date his best friend years ago.  Nikki drove the man to near suicide we are told, and Richard had always wanted a sample, but back then, it was not to be.  But today, it would seem, is a different story since Nikki keeps showing up at Richard’s job, and the two strike up a fast, but perilous friendship which raises eyebrows around the office.  Richard likes the way that Nikki makes him feel, and finds himself getting involved deeper and deeper into her fast, crazy and sometimes dangerous lifestyle.  Faced with the decision of remaining in his safe, cozy, but boring marriage or living on the edge with the racy, smoldering, chaotic Nikki, what, oh what will Richard do?

I know what I’d do.  I’d keep ‘em both!  And I also hope my wife isn’t reading this review, because she probably wouldn’t understand that I’m just joking and I would really send the whore Nikki on her merry way.  That’s what I would do honey.  Anyway, ‘I Think I Love My Wife’ is certainly laugh out loud funny.  Chris Rock is on much more familiar territory with the humor in this one as some of his funniest comic bits are based on his family, marriage and children.  I suppose in that sense, he’s like a profane, obscene Bill Cosby.  His narrative observations on marriage with all of its foibles and pitfalls, often ring with truth, if not exaggerated a bit for comic effect.  Again, should my own true love actually read this, which thank God, like everybody else on the planet, she doesn’t, whe would grill me with questions such as; ‘What rings true dear?’.  ‘The part when he was kissing that whore in the cab?’  ‘The part when he was lying to his wife… AGAIN?’   But alas, that’s my reality.

Now Chris Rock is a fabulous comedian, but he’s really not much of an actor.  His acting range is limited, and he often seems uncomfortable when forced to do anything other than cracking jokes.  I think he’s aware of this though, and Chris Rock the director does limit the instances when Chris Rock the actor has to try to actually act.  Another slight problem I had with the movie is that Rock and Gina Torres are two great tastes that simply don’t taste great together.  Quite honestly, Torres powerful womanly presence to Rock’s sickly frailness kind of makes the whole marriage between the two suspect in the first place.  I’m just saying is all.  For instance, when you see Torres out with her real life husband Lawrence Fishburne, now that would work.  He’s a big guy with a big personality which, cinematically speaking, suppresses his wife’s personality somewhat.  In ‘I Think I Love My Wife’ however, Torres completely overpowers Rock. 

But still, ‘I Think I Love My Wife’ works on a comedic level quite well, and also on a social level and comes recommended.  Steve Buschemi gives great support as Richard’s lecherous colleague George, and Kerri Washington is summarily sexy as the Jezebel Nikki.  ‘CB4’ is now officially Chris Rock’s 2nd best movie.

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