Rock plays Richard Cooper, a New York executive with an ostensibly perfect life. Despite his loving wife Brenda (played by Gina Torres) and two children, Richard is bored with his sexless marriage. Enter Nikki Tru (played by Kerry Washington), an old friend who wants to reconnect. Faced with Nikki's youth and sensuality, Richard starts to have a crisis of fidelity with regards to his comparatively mundane home life. Their friendship seems innocent enough to Richard, but the last man to date Nikki wound up psychologically obliterated by the experience. Will Richard be next?
I Think I Love My Wife provides examples of:
- All Women Are Prudes: In-universe, Richard believes this of his marriage, complaining that Brenda never wants to have sex with him unless it's for having a baby. Averted when Brenda is talking to her friend Jennifer about her fears of infidelity.Jennifer: Did you find anything on his computer?Brenda: Just a little Asian porn, nothing serious.
- Chekhov's Gun: Richard playing with his daughter while wearing his tie around his head.
- Doting Parent: Richard is this to his children.
- Dirty Old Man: Richard's co-worker and best friend, George, played by Steve Buscemi, who regularly sleeps with the younger women around the office.
- Distracted by the Sexy: Nikki is in her underwear and a pair of high heels.Nikki: You like my shoes?Richard: You're wearing shoes?
- Gilligan Cut:Richard: You must be out of your fucking mind if you think I'm getting on a plane to Washington, D.C., to go to some guy's house to get your shit! (cut) *the plane arrives in Washington DC*
- Good Parents: Despite Richard's behavior, he and Brenda are good parents to their children.
- Harsher in Hindsight: The movie's ending where Brenda and Richard reconcile and their marriage looks strong is undercut by the truth that IRL Chris Rock cheated on his wife and they divorced. Although Rock concluded in his post-divorce Stand-Up Special Tambourine that cheating was a terrible mistake.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Richard and George.
- No Indoor Voice: The cashier when Richard is trying to (discreetly) purchase some condoms.
- Noodle Incident: The breakup between Nikki and Nelson (played by an uncredited Orlando Jones). Whatever it was, it was messy enough to require Nelson to get extensive therapy, and seeing her again clearly shakes him up.
- Not What It Looks Like
Brenda: Are you talking to some...little bitch? Are you talking to some whore? In my house?!Richard: No, it's just George.Brenda: George? (beat) What kind of fucked-up shit is that?
- After taking a Viagra pill given to him by George, Richard frantically calls George late at night when his erection won't subside. Brenda walks in and mistakes it for a phone sex conversation.
- Richard tries to invoke this when Nikki's ex Teddy walks in on them in his apartment singing to the stereo while Nikki has her blouse open. Teddy doesn't buy it.
- Only Sane Woman: Brenda.
- Scary Black Man: Nikki's ex, Teddy.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Richard repeatedly invokes this when seen with Nikki, asserting that they're Just Friends. Even though there's no actual sexual activity involved, very few people believe him. For good reason.
- Shout-Out: Richard works at the law firm Pupkin & Langford.
- Something Else Also Rises: When Nikki asks Richard to put lotion on her back, he accidentally squirts some out of the bottle.
- Tranquil Fury: Brenda, when Richard comes home after disappearing all night with an obviously fake excuse.