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A romantic comedy that a guy can see too
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews1 February 2004
This is pretty much the typical romantic comedy, but with an interesting twist; the main character has the ability to hear womens thoughts. The important thing was that for it to work, the character would be placed in a lot of interesting comical situations, where you could laugh at it, without it being too mocking of womens thoughts, or too far-out to enjoy. It succeeds pretty well, however the way the character gains and loses the ability were handled somewhat poorly. The humor is good, and there is plenty of it, throughout the entire runtime. The characters were believable, and the main character eventually grew to be likable. The plot was good, and the acting likewise. The only thing that brings the movie down, is the poor execution of the gain/loss of the ability to hear womens thoughts, and the sugar-sweet ending, that was too predictable and plain boring, as anyone who's seen one of the hundreds(possibly thousands) of romantic comedies out there. No actual new stuff brought to the table, apart from the interesting and original concept of a man being able to hear what women are thinking. OK for a romantic comedy. 7/10
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Hilarious! A laugh a minute!
mattymatt4ever28 May 2001
Mel Gibson is known as sort of a macho action hero, and stereotyped into his Mad Max/Martin Riggs persona. But I've noticed (except for "Braveheart" and "The Patriot") he injects comic relief into almost anything he does. So doing a straight comedy doesn't seem like much of a stretch, and as you watch in a movie like this Gibson's timing and delivery is impeccable. On and off the camera, he has an incredible sense of humor, and he probably improvised some featured gags.

The premise is very original and interesting. A guy who can hear a woman's every thought? That's pretty much every man's fantasy. And the premise is used wisely. I laughed the whole way through! It's hilarious to watch Gibson emasculating himself by the minute, and the joke never runs dry.

I was laughing so much that I was able to tolerate the film's corny ending. I mean, when is a romantic comedy going to come along that doesn't feature a formulaic ending that is supposed to make people leave the theater and go "Awwww"?

The supporting cast is full of big stars. Bette Midler has an amusing cameo as a chain-smoking shrink. I only wish she could've had some additional scenes.

"What Women Want" is an original, feel-good comedy that will have you on the floor! This not a "chick flick." If you want to laugh--this is the movie to see! No questions asked!

My score: 8 (out of 10)
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For all us guys.
SmileysWorld17 April 2002
A man suddenly finds himself able to read women's minds and actually know what women want from men.Now,what guy doesn't want to be in that position? This was a terrific idea for a film and it was executed to perfection.Who better than Mel Gibson to represent us in this situation? He's the one man women probably wish understood them.At any rate,Gibson really turns on the Gibson charm here and there's not a better film in which to do that.Helen Hunt makes a great leading lady and is her usual charming self.Also,from the supporting cast,it's always great to see Alan Alda,one of the most underrated actors of our time.This film starts with a very unique,funny idea,and it does not disappoint in terms of how good it can be executed.Well casted,well directed and very funny film.
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We know it now
Atreyu_II18 September 2007
"What Women Want" has a unusual plot which also makes us (men) think: what do women really want? The final conclusion is that they want happiness, just like men.

Despite being a predictable movie and nothing extraordinary, at least it teaches to us (men) some valuable lessons about women. It's a good way to understand and know them better.

The first hour of this movie is great fun, very entertaining and pure comedy. During the first hour we have some moments to give us good laughs. Mel Gibson has never been this funny before. He plays a hilarious character: Nick Marshall, a typical "macho men" or a "men's man". The kind of man that other men admire and want to be like him. The kind of man who doesn't understand a thing about women (although seen as a "God's gift" to women). Nick is proud, rich, chauvinistic, single and loves to hear Frank Sinatra.

After an accident with the hairdryer, he suddenly has the power of hearing what women think and what they think of him isn't what he expected. He sees this as a curse, but after being convinced by a psychologist that he could take advantage of this gift, he uses it to manipulate Darcy McGuire.

However, in the second half, the movie fails, becoming predictable and somehow lame, losing all its comical side. Some ridiculous and silly things happen in the second half. Also, I rather the "old" Nick than the "good" Nick, because the "old" Nick was much funnier. He becomes the "good guy" in the second half, losing his sense of humor.

This movie has some nice songs, such as "I Won't Dance" (performed by Frank Sinatra), "I've Got You Under My Skin" (performed by Frank Sinatra in a duet with Bono) and "Bitch" (performed by Meredith Brooks).

Mel Gibson is great and charming as Nick Marshall, while Helen Hunt is okay and pretty in the role of Darcy McGuire.
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A nice idea, well executed
csagne18 September 2007
It is not easy to start from a funny idea like this, write a script for 90 minutes, get some humour and end up with a perfect bake.

In fact, it's easy to go wrong somewhere along the way, last too long, make it too slapstick, or too serious, and then after 25 minutes people know they shouldn't have paid for their seat.

This film - about a man suddenly endowed with hearing women's thoughts - is a favourite rerun at Christmas, and I still watch it (ok not in full, I have a life too) instead of changing channels because it's still funny.

Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt are really good there, they just coined it and you wish there were more unpretentious (but with a tiny bit of depth and message) comedies like this around.
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Does Anyone Really Know? Even Mel?
jhclues17 January 2001
Here is a movie that, to be sure, is part fantasy, part wacky comedy; but to call `What Women Want,' directed by Nancy Meyers, `just' a comedy would be not only inaccurate, but would be doing an injustice to the film as well. Because-- while there are plenty of laughs to be had (especially early on)-- in the end, there is a lot more bite and substance to it than first meets the eye. Enough to definitely raise it far above the `fluff' piece many will perceive it to be, if only due to some shallow reviews and the theatrical trailer currently being shown, which gives only the vaguest notion of what this movie is really all about. In fact, once most of the `cute' stuff is out of the way (about a third of the way through), the film really starts to get good,with a message about decency that is worthwhile, if only it can penetrate the formidable barrier of the viewer with an attention span barely able to accommodate an episode of `Friends.' Beyond the humor, there is a story here about a man named Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) who literally receives the shock of his life, and afterwards must deal with who he is by coming to terms with his past, realizing the truth about himself in the present, and understanding what his future will be if he does not change his ways . It's something of a contemporary take on `A Christmas Carol,' with Nick an egotistical, self-centered, witty (In his own eyes) Scrooge; a veritable legend in his own mind, which is not-- as he comes to find out-- necessarily the way he is perceived by many of those around him, especially the women in his professional life. The screenplay, written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith, is extremely insightful and brought to the screen with equal acuity by director Meyers, who goes to great lengths at the beginning of the film to explain Nick's exaggerated chauvinism, what made him the `Man's man' he has become. And while it is clever and effective, closer scrutiny in the editing room may have benefited the overall film, as his character is somewhat `overly' established. But just about at the point when you're saying to yourself, `All right I get it!' Meyers grabs the helm with both hands and suddenly the ship is at full mast and on course, where she keeps it for the rest of the journey. The turning point comes after Nick's visit to a marriage counselor (a terrific cameo by Bette Midler) with whom he had had business some years before. It's as if not only Nick, but Meyers as well, had heeded Bette's advice. Mel Gibson does a good job of getting into Nick Marshall's skin, and he's to be commended for going out on a limb and taking on a character that may not be immediately embraced by even die-hard Gibson fans. It's a testimony to his ability as an actor, though, because he does make Nick the epitome of chauvinism, and except for the few throw-back Neanderthals (women as well as men) still in existence who subscribe to the `Man's man' theory of de-evolution, Nick will effect the same response from the audience that he does in the minds of many of the women who surround him in the movie. It's only when you've had a chance to consider Gibson's performance at arm's length that you will realize how good he is in this film. On the other hand, the real saving grace of this movie is immediately discernible, and that is the performance of the wonderful Helen Hunt. As Darcy McGuire, the professional hired to lead the ad agency for whom Nick works into the Twenty-first Century, Hunt is nothing less than sensational. One of the most gifted, expressive actors in the business, she raises the level of the drama (not to mention the comedy) by succinctly conveying the strength-- and at the same time the vulnerability-- of Darcy, while exhibiting a depth of emotion that adds so much to the impact (and the success) of the film. And, in a notable supporting role, Judy Greer is memorable as Erin, a lonely young woman who works at the ad agency. It's the `Tiny Tim' role of the film, and though a small part, it figures prominently in revealing Nick's inner-most feelings at a pivotal moment of the film. Rounding out the supporting cast are Alan Alda (Dan), Marisa Tomei (Lola), Ashley Johnson (Alexandra), Mark Feuerstein (Morgan), Lauren Holly (Gigi), Delta Burke (Eve), Valerie Perrine (Margo) and Sarah Paulson (Annie). What Meyers has created here is a mixed-bag, sleight-of-hand bit of entertainment that is so much more than what it seems to be on the surface that it is bound to evoke an equally mixed-bag of reactions (positive and negative) from the audience. It's amusing-- downright funny at times-- but also exasperating. To receive the full rewards offered by `What Women Want,' you're going to have to give it something as well. If you do, you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you get in return. And that, my friends, is the magic of the movies. I rate this one 8/10.
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It's all worth it when you see Mel Gibson waxing his legs.
When this movie started, I didn't know if I would like it, although it had a very powerful beginning. But eventually (around the part I mentioned) I realized that it's very funny. And you've gotta love the romance!

Mel Gibson is Nick Marshall, a womanizer who at the same time doesn't understand women at all. When the womanliest of all women, Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt), starts to work with his company, she assigns everyone to think of advertising ideas for at least one feminine item in the boxes she gives them (pantyhose, lipstick, mascara, a wonderbra, nail polish, etc.). Nick tries to think, but instead gets drunk and paints his nails, tries on the mascara and pantyhose, and yes, waxes his legs. That night, a freak accident occurs in his apartment, and then he can hear what women are thinking. He uses this asset to steal Darcy's ideas, and at the same time falls in love with her.

Besides Gibson and Hunt's performances, there are three other reasons I love this movie. One, Marisa Tomei, who is perky and cute as Nick's previous uninterested love interest, a coffee-shop girl named Lola. But just when Nick gets less desperate for her and more so for Darcy, Lola discovers that she really does like him. Two, Ashley Johnson, who is demanding but lovable as Nick's teenage daughter from a previous marriage. He can hear her thoughts, too, and finds out that she's planning to lose her virginity on prom night. Although he tries to stop her, she eventually learns the lesson on her own. Three, it has an awesome soundtrack. Frank Sinatra, the Temptations, Nancy Wilson, and Bobby Darin sing old classics, while Christina Agulera and Meredith Brooks perform fairly new hits.

Anybody who likes comedy, romance, or just a great movie should see "What Women Want." I think it's one of the few unisex romantic comedies (not chick flicks) there are, so it's a great date movie.
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Classic romantic dramedy. funny and meaningful
inkblot1123 April 2019
Nick (Mel Gibson) is your classic male chauvinist who doesn't know he is so. As a top advertising executive, his ads feature sexy themes and are successful. He definitely believes his boss (Alan Alda) is on the verge of promoting him to be his right hand guy at the firm. But, elsewhere, Nick is less successful. His beautiful first wife (Lauren Holly) divorced him for womanizing and he barely sees his teenage daughter. Yet, when his ex remarries, he is going to be in "charge" of this teen lass for a period of weeks. In addition, although Nick believes he is a stallion in the bedroom, women may not always appreciate his moves. Now, here comes change! Instead of getting the promotion, a beautiful, talented woman Darcy (Helen Hunt) gets it. Boss explains they need to reach more women with their ads and this is the way to do it. Nick is miffed. Pretending to be a fan, he truly wants to sabotage Darcy's job. Yet, at home testing women's products to get a better understanding of what women use, Nick has an accident with the blow dryer and a sink full of water. Now, when he comes to, he can LITERALLY read females' minds. All too soon, he discovers his daughter thinks he's a jerk and he tries to change her attitude. A lovely lady (Marisa Tomei), who works in a store at the same office building, teaches him how to please women in the sack. But, is he still eager to take down Darcy and won't it be infinitely easier now that he can read her thoughts and stay one step ahead? This classic romantic dramedy has an abundance of humor, mixed with great lessons on, you guessed it, what women DO want. As Nick, Gibson is a delight as he learns how to be a far better human being. Hunt matches him in smarts and charm while the rest of the cast is wonderfully supportive. What great costumes, sets, lines and direction as well! What you want for entertainment tonight is this fine and funny flick!
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Excellent Romantic Comedy!
mjhalta29 February 2008
This movie is one of Mel Gibsons best! He is a natural at comedy! For this movie to have such a low rating reflects on the Neanderthals that write these reviews. A few of us modern Homo-sapiens have to set the record straight and be assured my fellow enlightened humans this is a great movie. Mel Gibson does some excellent acting as does Helen Hunt. A great plot, a social statement, and a truly inspiring love story, this movie has it all, including some very very funny parts. This is not a no-brainer slap stick comedy but one that makes you think about our interaction with other people and how it effects them and you. It also answers the question that men have been seeking forever, what do women want! Rent it, you won't be disappointed. I've watched it many times and will do so again as it is that good.
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Love this movie
dd-osman17 February 2019
I love Mel and Helen as the leads, love the story line, the location, the support cast... this is everything a rom com should be: only morons and snowflakes will be disappointed ;)
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It reminded me of one of those late 50's early 60's romantic comedies.
meadowlark1 October 2001
A new creative director (Helen Hunt) is hired by an ad agency (run by Alan Alda) to bring it up to date by appealing to the women's market. Mel Gibson, an account executive and a real man's man, was slated for that position, and he wants to get rid of Hunt. At her first staff meeting, Hunt gives each person a package of various women's products, and each must come up with a campaign for at least one of the items.

At home, Gibson tries out the products in a tour de force of cross-dressing. Funny, if not roll on the floor hilarious, and he does it with an aplomb that makes it look so easy that you at the very least have to admire his skill. In the process, Gibson falls into a tub, followed by a live hair dryer, and receives a shock that alters his brain so that he can hear the thoughts of women. As a result, he bowls everyone over, especially Hunt, with his creative insight into the women's market. Now he's got her right where he wants her...or so he thinks. But creative insight turns out to be a two-edged sword.

I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would. It reminded me of one of those late 50's early 60's romantic comedies, at least in its earlier scenes. In fact, I liked it so much that it made me feel sorry for Woody Allen. His "Curse of the Jade Dragon" suffers by comparison. I mention it, because Allen's film also stars Helen Hunt and, interestingly, has a similar situation–a woman is hired on to bring a company up to date, and she threatens to disrupt the man's career. Even mind-alteration is involved, although of a different kind.

I think the mind-reading premise is brilliant and is set in just the right context, and Hunt and Gibson played off each other very well. I've seen Mel Gibson on a couple of Jay Leno shows, and he seemed ill-at-ease and sometimes a little abrupt, as though he were either very shy, not too bright, or for some reason just didn't want to be there. But what a difference when he's on screen and playing a role that in bygone days would have been filled by Jack Lemmon or Tony Randall or Rock Hudson. Ok, maybe he's not the all-round actor that Lemmon was, but he fit that particular role perfectly. And he even does a bit of a Gene Kelly routine!
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Is mind Reading the Only Way for Men to Understand?
nikhavey29 July 2004
The film What Women Want is about a man, Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson), who has been characterized as a 'man's man,' a male who is the type of guy that other men look up to. Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt) also stars and sends Marshall into a male power trip when she is offered a job position that he was trying so hard to get. Marshall is known for his ability to seduce women and fornicate with them. Most of the women in his life think that he is a self centered jerk, because of the way he objectifies them. Even his fifteen year old daughter feels as if they are not related because of his poor communication skills with women. But an unexpected twist took place one day while blow drying mousse in his hair. While he was going about his business, Marshall tripped, and fell into his bathtub full of water, being electrocuted severely. Oddly enough, what would kill a normal human being did not harm Nick in any way, rather than it mysteriously gave him the power to hear what women are thinking. So, equipped with his new skill, he goes about his day, not knowing he has this amazing ability. Throughout his random encounters with women, particularly at work, he comes to realize that all the women are not very fond of him.

In all movies, there is always a message of some sort that the director is trying to express. In this particular film, I believe there is more than one message. One of the dilemmas the movie expressed was women do not know what they want. Throughout the movie, women were constantly complaining about men, or their hair, or their outfit. The truth is that women do not know what they do want; only what they don't want. Another message it displayed is a world renown problem: the concept that men do not have a clue about women. They communicate differently as men, and want different things as well. Is reading women's minds the only way for men to understand? I sure hope not.

The technique of this movie is nothing to throw a fit over. The average cinematography isn't dazzling, but it is good enough to keep the viewer interested. The sound track was well thought out, with many famous songs helping out in several scenes and strongly assisting in setting the mood. A few things stand out in the movie that question reality. For example, Gibson falls into a full bathtub, gets electrocuted by thousands of volts, and only wakes up with a headache. At a different point in the movie he gets shocked again, but not by a household utensil. The second time it's by lightning, and again, just a headache. No singed eyebrows or fried shoelaces were to be found.

What Women Want is an entertaining movie at the least. Mel Gibson, as always, does an excellent job portraying his character, as well as Helen Hunt. The cast did a well-rounded job, and no one was out of place. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly and enjoyed the humor. The film was filled with talented acting, laughs, and lighthearted suspense. It would be a good recommendation for anyone who is bored and desires a humorous, fun movie. The idea of a man being able to read women's minds is clever and amusing. Should this ever happen, would it be classified as a gift, or a nightmare?
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Trendy, ultra-slick commercial throwaway...
moonspinner551 July 2006
21st century variant on the old battle-of-the-sexes theme, naturally spiked with an extraordinary gimmick to put the material over with today's seen-it-all audiences. Mel Gibson plays a womanizing ad-exec in Chicago who--through electrocution!--is suddenly able to read the minds of all females. At first, he uses this newfound gift for personal gain, but soon finds himself becoming a more caring and sensitive man who learns to listen before he speaks. Fast-paced but dim, fatuous comic fantasy of male and female relations in modern times. It purports to be speaking the Truth about the sexes, but in the interim tosses off a lot of snappy lines and superficial answers. Most of the female performers are directed to be hammy and irritating, and nearly everyone in the cast overacts. Gibson manages to retain his appeal, though even he can't save the film from a sour finish. ** from ****
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Had me laughing out loud
jwells9721 December 2014
This was the most fun I've had movie-watching in at least a year. It had me laughing, talking to the characters (mainly "Oh, no!" and "Watch out!"), and eager to see what would happen next. I guess it's true that women are difficult for men to understand because what we're are thinking often contradicts what we're saying. What DO women want? The casting was wonderful, the acting was superb, and the direction was perfect. I heard that Tim Allan had been considered for the lead role. He would've been a great choice, but so was Mel Gibson. Bravo to one and all! Now how about doing a similar movie with a woman hearing men's thoughts, hmmmm? Just as Shirley Temple helped distract grateful Americans from the Great Depression, we need more comedies like this to distract us from equally-distressing things.
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Helen Hunt is cute
icet200421 June 2007
What Woman Wants: Nick,a somewhat chauvinistic advertising exec hot shot, has his life turned haywire when a fluke accident enables him to hear what women think. At first all he wants to do is rid himself of this curse, until a wacky psychologist (played to perfection by Bette Midler) shows him that this could be used to his advantage! His first target is Darcy McGuire, the very woman that got the promotion he wanted. But just as his plan is beginning to work,love gets in the way:

i actually like this movie it's funny and has a weird humor.Mel Gibson has always been good actor in every movie and Helen Elizabeth Hunt was ten years ago the cutest woman in the world and right now she is okay too.
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Amusing fluff that gives Gibson a change of pace.
zardoz-138 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"Lethal Weapon" superstar Mel Gibson shows his softer side in director Nancy Meyers' "What Women Want," an entertaining but stereotypical battle of the sexes romantic comedy that co-stars Helen Hunt, Alan Alda, and Bette Midler. Cast as ace Chicago advertising executive Nick Marshall, Gibson plays the quintessential man's man: an unapologetic male chauvinist who believes that you can sell anything if bikini-clad babes bedeck it. Success thus far has proved Nick right, so he fully expects his chummy boss, Dan Wanamaker (Alan Alda), to promote him as the agency's new creative director. Unfortunately, Wanamakers is in big trouble, and in an effort to save his ailing ad agency, Dan decides to target women rather than men. "Girls born in the mid-1980s control our advertising dollars," Dan explains. "It's a woman's world. You can get into their pants better than anyone I know, but getting into their psyche is something else." That said, Wanamakers hires an outsider, Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt), recently booted from a rival agency on the basis of sexual discrimination to fill the spot that Nick thought he had sown up.

At their first meeting, Darcy gives everybody an array of feminine products: toenail polish, pantyhose, lipstick, mascara, a wonder bra, and leg wax. She asks them to concoct a campaign that will make these items irresistible to women. Nursing his bruised ego but willing to tough it out, Nick experiments with these wares to find an innovative advertising angle. Meanwhile, Nick's ex-wife Gigi (Lauren Holly) is getting remarried and dumps his 15-year old daughter, Alex (Ashley Johnson), on him while her new husband and she head off for their honeymoon. Nick polishes his toenails, applies mascara, leg wax, and cavorts in the bathroom with a hair dryer. Accidentally, during his fantasy role-playing, he falls into the bathtub and electrocutes himself.

No, Nick doesn't wind up with a halo and a harp. Instead, he can hear the innermost thoughts of all the women, especially his prom-bound daughter. Initially, this drives Nick totally nuts. Eventually, he appeals to his former marriage counselor (Bette Midler) and proves to her that he can read her thoughts. "If you know what women want," Bette's eyes bug out, "you can rule!" And rule Nick does. He uses his uncanny talent to read Darcy's thoughts and steal her ideas. Before long Dan believes that he has misjudged not only Nick but also Darcy. Nick's sudden sensitivity even astonishes Darcy, so that when Nike comes to court Wanamakers, the unscrupulous Nick uses Darcy's ideas to land the account.

The premise of "What Women Want" is the stuff of classic screwball comedies. Of course, only in a movie could somebody survive electrocution and emerge as a mind reader. If you can dismiss this preposterous plot device, the subsequent comedy and romance that ensue should please both sexes. Predictably, Nick sees the error of his ways. As Mel's first romantic comedy since 1992's "Forever Young," "What Women Want" qualifies as amusing fluff that gives Gibson a change of pace.
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Great comic performance from Mel Gibson
perfectbond13 February 2004
I usually associate Mel Gibson with Lethal Weapon and Braveheart but here he proves this incredible range with his superb comic performance. There are so many funny and touching scenes in this movie. Most of them are with Helen Hunt but the scene with Lola (Tomei) and the one with his daughter and her friends were also really good. The slightly off-kilter subplot with the suicidal intern is the only thing about this movie that could have been reworked or written out. Still this was a very entertaining movie, 8/10.
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A Lot Of Fun To Be Had In Gibson's Biggest Domestic Hit At That Point
slightlymad2227 January 2017
What Women Want (2000)

For the first time in a career Gibson released 4 movies in a single year, but there was no danger of audiences getting sick of him as What Women Want went on to be his biggest domestic hit to date.

Plot In A Paragraph: After an accident, a chauvinistic ad executive (Gibson) gains the ability to hear what women are thinking.

It's interesting to hear a Gibson called "The least politically correct guy in the universe" and personally, I think Gibson was a little bit too old for the role, but his charisma carries it along nicely. And the movie has a great soundtrack.

As for the rest of the cast, Helen Hunt has never looked better, Alan Alda is always fun to watch, as is Marisa Tomei, and it's always nice to see Valerie Perrine in a movie.

One can only wonder what would have happened with Gibson's career, if he paid attention to what was said in this movie

What Women Want ended 2000 the 5th highest grossing movie of the year, with a domestic haul of $182 million. Which was a record high gross for Gibson, although not a personal best in terms of ranking, as Lethal Weapon 2 finished 3rd in 1989. But it was a sure sign Gibson hadn't lost none of his appeal with women audiences.
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Entertaining and inventive
TheLittleSongbird3 September 2010
I wasn't expecting What Women Want to be as fun as I found it. The premise I initially found rather daft, and some of the subplots are superfluous and drag the film down. However, What Women Want is a pleasant watch, as it has lovely cinematography and the soundtrack has a nice quality to it. The film is wittily written and sharply directed too, while the story is pretty interesting and unique on the whole, like Nick Marshall's gift of being able to hear women's thoughts. The two lead performances are excellent, Mel Gibson can be obnoxious like his character but he is also very charming, while Helen Hunt is great as his far-from-perfect love interest. All in all, entertaining and inventive. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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Charming and amusingly funny. Gibson and Hunt are a cute couple--but a bad ending. *** (out of four)
Movie-1228 January 2001
Warning: Spoilers
WHAT WOMEN WANT / (2000) *** (out of four) By Blake French:

In the year 2000 alone, Mel Gibson portrayed a colonial-times rebel in "The Patriot," arrogant poultry in "Chicken Run," and now a hotshot chauvinist in Nancy Meyers' new romantic comedy "What Women Want." Mel Gibson has slick, suave charm and electric charisma in the role of a self-confident advertising executive. All of his seemingly natural talents combine to create a funny, entertaining character named Nick Marshall. The adorable Helen Hunt has the same amiable traits as her irresistible co-star as she lights up the screen with a gentle personality and glowing elegance. With a respectable supporting cast, including Marisa Tommei, Alan Alda, Lauren Holly, and Bette Midler, it is hard to imagine how "What

Women Want" could have failed to entertain audiences.

Nick Marshal obviously does not know what women want. He was raised as a testosterone-based bachelor, with the idea that he is the world's gift to all females. As a rich executive on the verge of a big promotion from his boss, Dan Wanamaker (Alan Alda), he is not pleased when a young, ambitious woman named Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt) gets the position instead of him. To make matters worse for Nick, his ex-wife (Lauren Holly) has just remarried, leaving him their somewhat rebellious fifteen year old daughter for two weeks, and his attempts to bed a coffee shop employee named Lola (Marisa Tomei) are continuing to fail.

Everything changes for Nick after he experiences an accidental electrical shock that leaves him with the ability to read the minds of any female person. He abruptly pays a visit to his former marriage counselor (Bette Midler) who wakes him up on his unique gift that could be used to his advantage. He immediately takes charge of his new gift; it is interesting, funny, and always amusing to witness his reactions to women's personal thoughts and desires. The screenwriters take full use of the comic material, and use it selectively and wisely; the humor never gets in the way of the movie's message about a modern-day ladies man. By the end of the movie, Nick is a much better person than he was at the beginning of the story.

"What Women Want" is written with a sharp edge; the dialogue is poignant and sassy, the characters are witty, sexy, and often hilarious. However, there is also a positively sweet sentiment holding all of the material together and helping the story flow smoothly. There is plenty of effective comic content here, naturally revolving around Nick's ability to read the women's minds. The movie also develops Gibson's character well, and the lessons he learns about women are never too preachy or emotional to turn audiences off to the light-hearted humor. I also liked the unique direction by Nancy Meyers, whose style is keen and slick, sometimes taking the point of view of the woman in focus, allowing us to experience a variety of perspectives. She and writers Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa provide the leads with a lot of juicy material, and they take advantage of it all.

"What Women Want" falls into the usual pattern of concluding in a conventionally sweet, happy ending. The final romantic sequence feels contrived and unconvincing, unsettling, like a meet cute during a disappointing finally. Even the smiling faces of Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson cannot save a conclusion that is confusing and perplexing. After the movie, I asked a handful of audience members of their interpretation on the closing, and I got a handful of different responses, only one actually cleared up the whole situation for me. What a umbrage to a generally enjoyable romantic comedy.
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Never Tire of Seeing!
bluekarma066 September 2008
Never get tired of watching this movie. It has such comic appeal as well as great writing and acting. I think it gets across a really good message. I loved Mel Gibsons performance and his dance scene to Frank Sinatra's " I Won't Dance" is amazing. I never knew he was that talented! All in all, WWW hits on all cylinders and holds up to repeat viewings as I have caught it many times on cable and no mater where it is in the movie I enjoy it. I know many people have an opinion about Mel as a person but in his acting roles he shines! From MAd Max to We Were Soldiers to What Woman Want, Gibson plays his roles as the character written for the movie and he does it brilliantly. I only wish he had had a chance to play Batman! 9/10
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A pure joy to watch, and a textbook example on how you should do a romantic comedy
callanvass14 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Nick Marshal has it all. Money, charisma, looks, power, and the ability to sleep with any woman he desires. One night in a freak accident the chauvinistic Nick Marshall wakes up to learn he has the ability to know what every woman is thinking. Nick uses this gift for his own advantage. A woman named Darcy (Helen Hunt) works for the company, and Nick misses out on his promotion. Nick goes for revenge with his newfound abilities, but winds up falling for Darcy.

Romantic comedies are considered to be chick flicks to many. I'm a guy, and I actually enjoy the romance genre. They tend to get a bit derivative and uncreative at times, but I still watch them as they come out. This movie is the epitome of a romantic comedy done right. Let's face it. If you're a guy, you've more than likely been confused with how a woman does things. Not only does this movie ingeniously explore that, but it does it such a smart way. I can't remember the last time I've laughed that hard in a movie. People can say what they want about Mel Gibson these days, but he was perfect for this part! He oozes charisma, and he is an absolute blast to watch. It was a lot of fun to watch him go from a cocky business man who womanizes to a person slowly, but surely becoming a regular human being with this newfound power. Mel Gibson dancing around in women's clothing, putting on makeup is unforgettable and had me howling with laughter. Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt make a great pair, and there chemistry was top notch. Helen Hunt is terrific herself, in a more subtle way. She's an ideal chick for any guy with a solid head on his shoulders, so guys should love her. Alan Alda doesn't have much to do, but Marisa Tomei is very funny in a supporting role, whilst Judy Greer steals every scene she's in as the girl nobody wants to hang around. The ending actually had me well up with tears a little bit. Laugh all you want, but its true! It was just so heartwarming I couldn't help but love it. Gibson's monologue in the ending is a knockout. Is it clichéd? Of course! It's a romantic comedy, what do you expect? Do people really have to be this fickle? Don't be such a cynic! Sit back, relax, and turn your brain off. You'll be so glad you did. It's one of the best romantic comedies I've ever seen, and a perfect film to watch if you have a date at home!

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Mel Gibson
freakfire-11 October 2008
What man doesn't want the power to read the thoughts of women? Its probably right up their with the power to fly and make money. But that power doesn't want me to shave my legs and wear pantyhose.

In any case, Mel Gibson puts up a good performance. No longer "Riggs" from the all-too-famous "Lethal Weapon" series, Mel wants instead works in a firm that sells women's products. Through some accident (see: "Spider-Man") he has gained a power. Its too bad he loses it.

Of all the women, Mel goes for Helen Hunt. While she isn't the best fish in the sea, she fits the role well. And despite finding out, after Mel loses his powers, that he 'stole' her ideas, she still wants him. A fairytale romance, but not always based in reality.

But it is a enjoyable film. Very much recommended. "B+"
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Different storiline, important message and good vibes all in one
zornicajohanova23 December 2019
You know, I've watched this movie probably 5-6 times. As a kid. I didn't get the the whole idea. I knew this simple fact, but I loved it. Now, many years later I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Man, it's been a long time since I have felt like this, while watching a film. So, let me say what I have to say. The storyline is something old, but expressed in a new way. There is romance, but a mature, not a cheesy one. The main idea (that there is no need for men to read our minds, but to listen what we say, like in 80%, not in 3%) is smoothly expressed throughout the movie. My favourite thing was that, at one point, the main character started helping (you guessed right - women). And that's what makes this film up-lifting.
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enjoyable romantic comedy
Stampsfightclub8 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Mel Gibson (Braveheart) stars as Nick Marshall, a flirtatious big headed popular sales assistant in this likable romantic comedy about a guy who can read women's thoughts.

Through his confident image, Marshall is presented as a stereotyped womaniser in this 2000 hit rom-com and through his character audiences are able to hear what women 'really' think. It's a laugh I suppose that women are stereotyped and are presented through the media as thinking such thoughts in their head such as how they hate guys who constantly ask them out, detest their bosses, think the way they think. By stereotyping these thoughts audiences can accept the roles of the characters and have a laugh about what women really do want.

Its one of those films which is easy to watch and have a good laugh with as Gibson tries to cope with the 'calamity' of a situation he is in and Helen Hunt (As Good as it gets) also acts acceptably in her role as the new advertising division leader. The two perform well together although personally the ending was a huge disappointment for me, too clichéd and a tad disjointed, making the rest of the movie appear less acceptable to accept.

One scene involving Gibson is fantastic where he is alone in his apartment and dancing with the hat to the music which is great enjoyment and allows audiences to relax when watching him turn on the charm. That scene too dragged for a bit after a while.

There are many scenes which are very easy to laugh to and enjoy. Like all other romantic comedies there is a seriousness towards the central plot and also many side stories, one involving Gibson's relationship with his daughter which is portrayed as sweet and heart tearing but personally I wasn't too convinced.

The plot moves at a steady pace to begin with but once Gibson has his 'power' and uses it to his advantage does the plot start to push itself and become more interesting. Apart from the ending and a few unrealistic scenes the film is enjoyable and perfect to watch with partner or on a date to laugh at what women and men want from relationships and society.

watch it if...you like to laugh at relationship issues and gentle romantic portrayals of men and women
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