A romantic comedy based on Steve Harvey’s book of advice for women about relationships has now led to a sequel based on finding the slightest possible premise for getting the gang back together to see if they can create some more box office magic.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, seeing pretty people do silly things so they can kiss and make up is always a good reason to go to a movie. And these are some of Hollywood’s most appealing performers.
In the first film, a group of buddies with a regular basketball game find themselves flummoxed by a bevy of beauties who read Steve Harvey’s book for tips on dealing with players, mama’s boys, and perpetual adolescents. The happily ever after ending has now led to a proposal and the whole group is going to Las Vegas for separate wild pre-nuptial parties followed by the wedding itself. When the groom-to-be assures his bride that everything will be perfect and nothing can possibly go wrong, we know that nothing will be perfect and everything will go wrong in the most humiliating way possible until we find our way to another happy ending with a possible opening for #3, which I hereby predict will involve a baby or two.
Would-be chef Dom (Michael Ealy) and corporate powerhouse Lauren (Taraji P. Henson) are deeply in love but struggling with job opportunities in different cities that they are afraid to tell one another. Mya (Meagan Good) is not happy to run into stories about the wild past of “Zeke the Freak” (Romany Malco). Kristen (Gabrielle Union) wants to get pregnant as quickly as possible and that puts a lot of pressure on Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara).
But the development that has the biggest impact on the film is the one that happened off-screen. Since the first one was released, Kevin Hart has become a box office powerhouse with a concert film in 2013 and two enormously successful comedies already in 2014 (About Last Night and Ride Along). This is most likely the reason that he takes up so much more of “Too” than he did in the first one. And since is a very loud guy, he seems to take up even more than he does, too often with all the appeal of a buzzing mosquito.
The entire premise of the first film is jettisoned, along with any aspirations beyond silly fun. It takes Cedric (Hart) far too long to figure out that he has mistakenly booked himself into a room that costs ten times what he thinks, because every time there is any possibility to mitigate the damages of whatever he has gotten himself into, he blusters like a bantam rooster to block any kind of reality check from the other characters. And this is close to the movie’s most plausible plotline. Even Lucy and Ethel could not make us believe that anyone cares whether the boys or the girls have a wilder pre-nuptial party. Director Tim Story throws in every possible signifier of movie fun, from a makeover (“Bridesmaids'” Wendy McLendon-Covey) to a dance number (okay, the girls’ dancing to Bell Biv DeVoe’s irresistible “Poison” is a treat) and the ever-popular night in the pokey plus the completely superfluous addition of a couple of cute white guys (Adam Brody and “About a Boy’s” David Walton.
The cast is clearly just here to have a good time, and the audience will, too.
Parents should know that this film includes some strong language including crude sexual references and humor, sexual situations, strippers, drinking and drunkenness, and drug use, along with a lot of foolish Las Vegas behavior.
Family discussion: What were the groups trying to accomplish in their pre-nuptial parties? Which couple has the strongest relationship?
If you like this, try: the first film and “About Last Night” (rated R), also featuring Hart, Ealy, and Hall.