I Think I Love My Wife
I Think I Love My Wife is mainly just another Chris Rock routine, tied up in a fancier, more adult bow.
Producer/co-writer/director/star Rock delves into the mundane routine of marriage and the idea of being unfaithful. He plays Richard Cooper, a married man who seemingly has it all: A beautiful, intelligent wife Brenda (Gina Torres), two cute kids and a successful career as an investment banker. Of course, he is also bored to tears and can't help but drool over every beautiful woman he sees while fantasizing about any number of sexual scenarios with them. Doesn't every married guy do this? Still, it's only fantasyuntil an alluring, free-spirited, not to mention stunning, old friend, Nikki (Kerry Washington), suddenly pops back into Richard's life and puts him through the temptation ringer. Will Richard stray or will he eventually realize he really does love his wife? Only time will tell.
Aw, Chris Rock's all grown up. But while he's completely believable as a married man with a wandering eye, it's the high-powered investment banker part that leaves us scratching our heads. I guess he felt to play a grown up, one must have a grown-up job, but as soon as the comedian flashes that toothy grin of his, the belief he could handle a huge corporation's finances is thrown out the window. As for the ladies in Rock's ménage a trois, Torres (Serenity) and Washington have a nice dichotomy. Torres has the thankless job of playing the beleaguered wife with as much aplomb as she can muster but is never given the opportunity to truly show us a multi-faceted women, juggling a career and family. Washington, however, owns the movie, and why shouldn't she? Playing the devil in the blue dress is infinitely more entertaining, and the talented actress, who has been relegated to playing hapless wives in Ray and Last King of Scotland, relishes the opportunity. Still, it's pretty obvious men wrote these parts. And for some added fun, Rock cast Steve Buscemi as Richard's philandering co-worker. Yes, you heard me, Buscemi gets to play a lothario for once.
Rock ventures away from balls-out comedy to tackle tough marital issues in I Think I Love My Wife. Question is, can we take him seriously? Sort of. The comic actor loosely based his film on the 1972 French film Chloe in the Afternoon, a rather serious and very French take on the same subject. But Rock knows where his bread is buttered, and he isn't about to put his name on a film that isn't at least mostly comedic. Co-written by fellow comedian Louis C.K. (of HBO's Lucky Louie), the film works best when Rock turns on his inevitable style and lets it rip. He incorporates a lot of his own stand-up comedy materialthat ironic look at women, love and marriageby using (or perhaps overusing) internal monologues. Ask him what he thinks about chicken for dinner, for example, and he'll give you an earful. I Think I Love My Wife falters, however, in trying to draw out what, in essence, is a stand-up routine, and at the same time, we have a tough time recognizing any flair in Rock's dramatics. Still, the comedian's fans should have a good time, and anyone who's married will recognize more than a few things.
Hollywood.com rated this film 2 1/2 stars.