With I Think I Love My Wife, Chris Rock attempts to reinvent Eric Rohmer’s French character study Chloe In The Afternoon as a supposedly edgy American comedy. Either no one told Mr. Rock how bad an idea he was working with, or he simply wasn’t listening. Regardless, I think I hate his film.
Written, directed and produced by Rock, I Think I Love My Wife also stars the funny man as Richard Cooper, a bespectacled businessman who leads what seems to be the perfect life, save one little hiccup: he isn’t getting any — not from his dowdy co-workers and most certainly not from Brenda (Gina Torres), his wife of seven years. Just as Richard comes to terms with his sexless marriage, a foxy old friend (Kerry Washington) shows up at his office door, oozing sex appeal with every slow, sensual turn.
Sound familiar? This isn’t déjà vu — you really have seen this movie before. Unlike The Last Kiss or American Beauty, though, I Think I Love My Wife is, sad to say, as shallow as it sounds. Richard isn’t losing his beloved sense of freedom nor is he suffering a mid-life crisis — he’s simply stopped having sex.
Perhaps that’s why I Think I Love My Wife, at a brief 94 minutes, felt like one of the longest films I’d ever seen. The plot stalls as Richard balks at one chance after another to snag the gorgeous Nikki, and a handful of stale jokes do little to quicken the pace. Caught in a cruel trap, he can’t sleep with her, and he can’t sleep without her. Thankfully, I can sleep with or without this movie playing.