Comm 140 Section C
Movie Analysis Essay
April 15, 2007
Interpersonal Communication is communication that occurs within interpersonal relationships. (pp132) Interpersonal relationships involve people who are interdependent. (pp133) These relationships can be complicated, but by expanding one's knowledge and learning new skills, one can improve their satisfaction within interpersonal relationships. There are three basic interpersonal needs that are satisfied through interaction with others. These needs are inclusion or becoming involved with others, affection or holding fond or tender feelings toward another person, and control or the ability to influence others our environment and ourselves. These needs can be fulfilled through a complementary or symmetrical relationship. A complementary relationship is one in which each person supplies something the other lacks, and a symmetrical relationship is one in which the participants mirror each other or are highly similar. (pp134)
Knapp and Vangelisti modeled a ten stage theory outlining the interpersonal relationship. The first five stages cover relational development, the process by which relationships grow, as initiating, experimenting intensifying integrating and bonding. (pp139) Once bonding is completed the relationships shifts to relational maintenance, strategies for keeping the relationship together. Dealing with dialectics and contradictions. Dialectics is defined as tension that exist between two conflicting or interacting forces elements or ideas, and contradictions in dialectic theory means each person in a relationship has two opposing desires for maintaining the relationship. (pp140, 141) The last five stages cover relational deterioration, the process by which relationships disintegrate, as differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, and terminating. (pp141, 142) In the movie "Two Can Play That Game", the stages of relational development, maintenance, and deterioration is displayed. Allowing the main characters to expand their knowledge and learn new skills to maintain happiness in their interpersonal relationships.
This movie is about a girl who seems to have her life and man completely under control. Her relationship is the envy of her friends, until one night the girls stumble upon man with another woman. She is then forced to launch her 10 day plan to get her man back in line, save face with her friends and climb back on top of her strained relationship.
It takes place in spring, early summer. "The break up season, when men start to act up and show their asses," as Shante Smith describes it. Shante Smith is a beautiful senior advertising executive for Parker and Long. She is a strong black woman from Compton who struggled her way to the top and seems to have her life, and man under control. Her significant other is Keith Fenton. He is a highly successful black lawyer who has accomplished a lot, and is very athletic. Shante also has three friends Karen another successful black woman, Tracye the average black woman, and Deidre who is "ghetto fabulous", that she has well established interpersonal relationships with. Shante is the one of the group who has the " 411 on men and relationships" as Karen puts it. Shante developed and follows rules and a ten day plan to keep men behaved and to put them back in line when need be. She also advises these rules and plan to her friends. Karen used this plan on her boyfriend, Michael, who suddenly developed commitment issues and was successful, by day ten she had an engagement ring.
Shante and Keith's relationship started with a typical girls night out at the club. Shante and her friends were sitting at the bar enjoying the music and indulging in a few drinks. They were "looking good and acting bad" according to Shante. There were many good looking men in club that night and then he looked at her, "and for a second everyone in the room...