What Women Want (2000)

whatwomenwant_2000_poster
What Women Want (2000)
  • Time: 127 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
  • Director: Nancy Meyers
  • Cast: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei

Storyline:

Nick Marshall, Playboy and Hot Shot in advertising, thinks he’s God’s gift to women. After a little accident, he discovers that he is suddenly able to hear what women really think. First, Nick is pretty disappointed when he discovers that his beloved macho behaviour does not exactly contribute to being desired. Then, his upcoming dream position in the company is being given to a new team member: Darcy, not only a woman, but a man-eating one, also is a very talented ad expert. So, Nick decides to sabotage his new boss by reading her thoughts and selling her ideas as his own. Unfortunately, love gets in his way.

One review

  • This movie is a great, mindless way to spend a couple of hours. Plenty of comedy and a lovely romance, though I do have a couple of morality disclaimers for the younger crowd. The handsome Mel Gibson (sigh!) very deftly and humorously pulls off the role of the playboy jerk, and Helen Hunt, always a great leading lady, is convincing as his brainy colleague.

    The premise of this movie paints a picture of the inevitable comedy to follow. An egotistical, playboy advertising exec, Nick, suddenly through a fluke accident (pseudo electrocution), acquires the ability to read women’s thoughts. Hilarity of course ensues, as this guy’s a chauvinistic egotist who thinks he is God’s gift to the female sex, for whom he has virtually zero respect. It’s quite a wake-up call when he learns that women don’t always have the stellar opinion of him he’s always assumed. Meanwhile, he decides to use his newfound abilities to essentially steal advertising ideas from the brain of a smart colleague named Darcy, who has just gotten the promotion he himself had sought. However, he develops feelings for this woman he is so callously using…

    I admire Mel Gibson for the general decency of his movies, relative to the modern norm. Of course it’s stereotypical Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus thinking, but some good basic messages (respect for women, paternal responsibility, and the general evils of using people) come through as loud and clear as the women’s thoughts come to Nick.

    However, I do have a few morality qualms for younger viewers, having just read a comment to the effect that Nick has no problem when he intrudes into a scene with his bra-less 15 year old daughter and her 18 year old boyfriend. I don’t recall (it’s been awhile), but maybe I need to watch the movie again. One would hardly expect (or want) most dads to approve of that scenario. At least Nick does come to regret his woeful inattentiveness to his daughter, try to assume his fatherly obligations, and develop a genuine relationship with her.

    In fact, Nick starts out pretty despicable in general as a seductive womanizing worm, particularly the way he takes sexual advantage of a coffee shop waitress (Marissa Tomei), who has zero self esteem and is really flattered by his attention, then sleazily weasels his way out of a relationship, breaking her heart. (Incidentally, I didn’t think the gay joke here added to the plot or the comedy.) Some commentator noted that the sex scene is vulgar for a PG-13 movie. Again, I don’t recall, but maybe I’d better watch that one again, too. Also, Nick unfortunately doesn’t come through with much genuine repentance for the way he’s treated this poor girl. Can’t make comedy out of it, I suppose, and need to use the film time to get on with the Darcy romance.

    Lots of laughs though…wait till you see Nick wearing his black pantyhose and dealing with hot waxing his legs! And of course, once he starts reading the ladies’ thoughts, it’s one hoot after another.

    The romance between the ‘cad turned sensitive’ and the ‘vulnerable corporate executive’ follows a not surprising but entertaining enough path. The chemistry between Nick and Darcy is fabulous. Nice dance scene, but I won’t give the ending away.

    I agree with the reviewer who stated that the first half of the movie is mainly comedy and the second half romance. However, I don’t class this as a chick flick. I admit that while I can’t read MEN’S minds, I think they’ll enjoy it as well. My own husband did. It’s basically just an enjoyable, carefree movie, though I wouldn’t recommend it for young teens due to some of the reasons mentioned.

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