: : : What Women Want

Story

It must've made for a great pitch meeting: Male chauvinist advertising executive gains the ability to hear the thoughts of any woman around him. Add Mel Gibson--as Nick, the divorced "man's man" who can charm almost any woman into bed--and you've got high-concept comedy made in Hollywood heaven, right? Not necessarily. The smartest thing director Nancy Meyers did with What Women Want is dispose of this ludicrous plot contrivance before it wears out its welcome. It's fun to see Mel react to a deafening chorus of female thoughts, but his dubious "gift"--courtesy of an accidental electro-shock in his bathtub--is a mixed blessing for the audience. The women in Nick's life conveniently think in complete sitcom-friendly sentences, and the novelty quickly wears thin.

The movie improves by focusing on the fallout of Nick's predicament. Exploiting his unfair advantage, he sabotages the career of his new boss (Helen Hunt) even as he's falling in love with her; says all the right things to the aspiring actress (Marisa Tomei) who previously spurned his advances; and uses mind reading to curry favor with his 15-year-old daughter (Ashley Johnson). This two-faced scheming isn't malicious, however, and What Women Want is blessed by Gibson's amiably nuanced performance. His graceful riff on Fred Astaire is a dazzling surprise, and as Nick reforms, Gibson takes major credit for whatever depth this movie achieves. After a bit of nonsense, What Women Want has a lot to say about male and female behavior, be it noble or unappealing. It's both amusing and truthful, and that's almost as fun as a glimpse into someone else's brain. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen
  • Dolby

Cast

Mel GibsonNick Marshall
Helen HuntDarcy Maguire
Marisa TomeiLola
Alan AldaDan Wanamaker
Ashley JohnsonAlex Marshall
Mark FeuersteinMorgan Farwell
Lauren HollyGigi
Delta BurkeEve
Valerie PerrineMargo
Judy GreerErin the File Girl
Sarah PaulsonAnnie
Ana GasteyerSue Cranston
Lisa EdelsteinDina
Loretta DevineFlo the Doorwoman
Diana Maria RivaStella
Eric BalfourCameron
Bette MidlerDr. J.M. Perkins

  • Genre: Comedy Movies
  • Director: Nancy Meyers
  • Producer: Paramount
  • Length: 127 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaDec 15, 2000
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    AustraliaPG
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJan 8, 2002
Buy Now $  Compare Prices
What Women Want mini icon
0 / 10
Rate
(0.0731/d/web6)