‘Think Like a Man’ and What Interests a “General Audience” Versus a Black One

Vulture has a very interesting piece up on the marketing campaign for the romantic comedy Think Like a Man, which apparently is scoring some of the highest audience approval ratings in early screenings ever. And Sony Screen Gems has apparently decided that since both majority-black and mixed-race audiences seem to love the movie they will, in a rare and welcome departure, try to sell Think Like a Man to all the viewers they think might possibly like it if only they could be got in the theater door, irrespective of race. One non-Sony executive told Vulture “it looks like a Nancy Meyers movie, with black people. Which is fine …. All it has to be is funny, and make it clear that the concept has no race.” But another, in full snipe mode, says of the marketing campaign, “There’s no general audience stuff.”

So I decided to take a look at the trailer and find out what it is that studio executive think it is that black people do and are attracted to that couldn’t be of interest to a general audience:

Who knew that only “urban” people (and really, can we retire that term? It has to be the most tiresome misconflation in the pop culture marketing dictionary), as that second executive put it, do or relate to the following experiences:

-Play pickup basketball

-Buy coffee in the morning

-Sometimes sleep with people they don’t actually want to date

-Can be overly attentive to their mothers and fail to set boundaries

-Work in restaurants

-Are flustered by attractive people of the opposite sex

-Get frustrated with their dating prospects

-Read self-help books

-Get sexually frustrated

-Think of Steve Harvey as kind of a square

-Get judgy about class

-Have friends who say awkward things at inopportune moments

If that’s true, then I am definitely not a white lady. Now I have to reassess everything.