I Think I Love My WifeChris Rock has set his sights high with his latest film. Maybe a bit too high. Remaking Eric Rohmer’s Chloe in the Afternoon, the last film in his six moral tales series, Rock loses a lot of the emotional punch and reality of the earlier film. Writing, directing, and starring in I Think I Love My Wife, Rock has carefully removed these aspects and replaced them with coarse language, overused jokes (the clerk says “condoms” really loudly when he’s buying them! The humiliation!), and overdone characters.

I Think I Love My Wife isn’t all bad. It’s just hard to figure out what kind of movie it really is. Although it’s listed as a romantic comedy, the laughs are few and far between, and the romance is nowhere to be found. Rock feels neglected by his wife at home (Gina Torres) and is tempted by an old friend’s ex-girlfriend (Kerry Washington) who happens to show up at his work in a slinky red dress clearly seeking sexual conquest in the form of a clueless and bored married man (Rock). Somehow hilarity is supposed to ensue, but rarely does. As usual, Rock is best when he’s riffing on a particular topic, not when he’s trying to interact and play out a scene. This semi-dramatic role is a bit of a stretch for him, and sporting a mustache and glasses does little more than make Rock look like a stand-up comedian playing dress up.

The supporting actors are strong, with Washington and Torres doing everything they can to play out their respective roles, and Steve Buscemi stepping in as Rock’s sleazy coworker constantly warning him away from infidelity. In spite of the prowess of the supporting cast and Rock’s superb comedic timing, I Think I Love My Wife never really gets off the ground. You can admire Rock for trying to push himself into other areas of the entertainment industry: directing, screenwriting, producing, but you don’t have to admire what he produces, which in this case is a lackluster examination of one man’s moral fortitude in the face of a sexy single seductress. The story and dialogue are realistic at times, but most of the 94 minutes of the film feel forced and uncomfortable. When Rock and Torres break into song at the end of the film, it’s painfully clear that they know the audience is tired and the gig is up.

To view the trailer, visit Youtube
To purchase I Think I Love My Wife on DVD, visit Amazon

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