New Rock flick short on romance, long on laughs

Crude language and slapstick humor seemed to be the angle that actor/director Chris Rock took when he co-wrote “I Think I Love My Wife.”

Rock plays Richard Cooper, a successful businessman with a loving wife and two beautiful children, who is bored out of his mind. The lack of sex with his wife, played by Gina Torres, has frustrated Cooper so much he seems to have reached his breaking point.

The movie touches on some of the things a sexually frustrated married man probably thinks, but never says. “How can my wife not have sex with me and then send me into a world with so many beautiful women?” Richard wonders while at dinner with his wife and some friends, because he is so distracted by their waitress who is revealing a lot of cleavage.

Trouble starts with the arrival of Nikki, the ex-girlfriend of an old friend. In Richard’s eyes Nikki is everything his wife isn’t, and she begins to make him wonder if his marriage is really what he wants. Nikki, played by Kerry Washington, begins to visit Richard in his Manhattan office frequently. The visits turn into very long lunches. During their visits Nikki questions Richard’s happiness in his marriage, while insinuating that he and she could be happy together.

The relationship between Richard and Nikki seems to develop more than the relationship between him and his wife. I would not call this movie a romantic comedy. The gratuitous and sometime vulgarly graphic nature of the conservation and dialogue did not allow the audience to receive any romantic messages.

The movie’s comedic points reminded me of a stand up routine. Rock held true to things black people think and only say to other blacks. This was evident in some of the movie’s scenes.

For example, in the beginning of the movie Rock makes a comment that he works for a prestigious firm that has very few black people. He goes on to say that he knows the name of every black person that works for his company. Immediately in the next scene, Rock enters his office building and says hello to a couple of janitors who both happen to be black. I immediately got the joke, which was only a set up for the next scene in the elevator that was filled with his white co-workers.

This movie is definitely one to go to with your friends when you want a couple of tear-dropping good laughs. You might not know which was funnier, the joke or the fact the Rock actually put that joke in the movie.

“I Think I Love My Wife” is loosely based on the 1972 comedy “Chloe in the Afternoon” by filmmaker Eric Rohmer.