What Women Want (2000)
User ReviewsReview this title
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)
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?
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.
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.
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 situationa 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!
The plot lurches along too: Tomei is written out with an unbelievable plot device, the 'daughter' sub plot is predictable and the ending just doesn't convince.
As said, you like Mel, you get Mel. But if you're looking for sensible plot and believable characters, try elsewhere. It's almost as if the great Mel decided there just wasn't enough room in the film for anything else.
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.
Like, maybe I've been all wrong about the female gender, all along - 'Cause if women really do want what this movie says that they want, then what women want seems to be exactly what men want. Which is, sad to say, fairly predictable stuff. And, so, with that in mind, I'd say that this movie pretty much renders women as being just as shallow, if not more, than us men.
I find it really amazing that not only was "What Women Want" directed by a woman, but half of the screenplay credit goes to a woman, as well. With the shallow, pretentious, and petty way in which women are portrayed in this film, I was certain that not even one single woman had been consulted in any way, shape, or form to find out what they really want.
Anyways - In a non-specific gender nutshell, here's "What Women Want" is all about - Mel Gibson, that big-mouthed bigot, plays Nick Marshall, a vain, womanizing S.O.B. (Hey! You know, that sounds an awful lot like Mel Gibson just playing Mel Gibson to me)
One fine morning Nick gets all of his brain-circuits fried, big time, when he falls into a bathtub full of water while in the midst of blow-drying his pretty-pretty hair.
One could only hope that being electrocuted in this fashion would kill Gibson/Nick instantly. But, no, unfortunately, it doesn't. And, so, for the sake of the movie, what electrocution does to Nick, instead, is it enables him to hear the thoughts of women. (Now, does that make sense to you?)
Naturally, being the slimy prick that he is, Nick uses this amazing ability to his full advantage (of course, who wouldn't?) by manipulating women as best he can. Especially his new female boss, played by Helen Hunt, who just happened to land this very job position that he (being the scoundrel that he is) figured was solely entitled to him.
Anyhow - To make a long story, short - If you can believe it, or not, there's actually a "romance" of sorts that transpires in all of this thought-reading nonsense that is even more far-fetched than you can ever imagine.
In conclusion - If what women want really is this movie, then, all I can say is, THEY CAN BLOODY-WELL HAVE IT!! - 'Cause, being a man, I sure as hell don't want it! No way, Jose!
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.
I tend not to forget almost every scene or the most important ones of a film, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching a movie twice or more times. I saw this thing going on on A&E, and "What Women Want" was gonna be on so I decided to watch it, since i remembered it was a funny movie.
When the movie was over I realized this: The movie is divided in two parts: the first half, and the second half. The first half is more comedy than romance, and the second half was more romance than comedy. The first half is from the beginning to the sex-with-Marisa-Tomei scene, and the second half is from the shopping scene to the end. After that, I acknowledged this: the first half of the movie is for an audience of guys and girls, and the second half of the movie is for an audience of gays and girls. Ya get the picture? The first time I saw the film I enjoyed it. I put up with the second half because it had caught me from the beginning, plus there were some funny situations, like the last scene with Marisa Tomei, where Mel tells her he's gay... that was really funny, but the rest is just girly stuff. And what more of a perfect way to present this second part if not by a shopping scene.
Suming it all up, if you haven't watched it... well I'm sorry for the spoilers, but I mean, rent it, it's a very funny comedy... the first time you see it. 'Course thats for the dudes, ya know, I'm sure women like watching the pinkish parts over and over again.
But the movie was one big Nike ADVERTISEMENT! It's not enough anymore for them to force us to watch the CG coke bears before we even get to the trailers... we now pay $9 for the privilege of watching a 2 hour nike ad.
Don't get me wrong, the ad was very well done. In fact it was one of the most compelling ads I have seen in years and that includes all the superbowl ads... but that is why I was so incensed. The screenwriters could have used some unnamed big firm that needs to do an ad directed at women, but no, instead the makers of this film chose to take the multi multi millions that nike offered them and do the ultimate product placement.
So as long as you go in completely aware that this is about two ad execs courting the Nike execs (whose professional lives I frankly didn't care about) than enjoy. The rest of it wasn't too bad...
I tend to know what women want as well : this kind of cinema. Watch it with your wife/girlfriend/mistress and you'll definitely get lucky tonight ;)
This is another film I happily watch just for it's "feel" - it's bright, airy and relaxed. The fake-looking backdrops in Mel's apartment while he's spinning in the bowler hat to Frank Sinatra just add to the film's charm, not detract from it. The one prob I have is that, okay, look, we're supposed to see Mel change from this chauvinistic pig into a sensitive guy, yet he TRAMPLES over Marisa Tomei's character, excusing himself as "gay" to her face while he goes and f*cks Helen Hunt's character? I'm a guy, but even I thought this was a b*stardly thing to do to someone. And Marisa Tomei? My god...this is just my opinion but if I had to decide between her (they obviously had great sex, and Marisa Tomei is gorgeous - I'd quite literally kill to get her naked for 40 minutes...the RIGHT 40 minutes) and straight-laced, probably-never-moans Darcy (Helen Hunt) I'd be jamming on into Marisa's bed without a moment's hesitation... That's not to say anything about Helen Hunt's talents...far from it, I think she's a terrific and original actress who isn't in enough movies...and she IS gorgeous too, I just can't past Marisa...anyway, enough of my boyhood fan-crushes (I'm sure you're all REAL interested in who I think is H - O - T lol) This film gives a nod to older romantic comedies from the 40's and 50's, and in a lot of ways it reminds me of those films (the ones I've seen anyway) in that it has a ridiculously far-fetched plot (he gets electrocuted by a hairdryer and then can suddenly read women's minds...) that somehow just seems plausible because the rest of the movie is so silly and fun. Take Bringing Up Baby with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn...perfect example of this.
So many movies seem to fall apart by the end and this is no exception. The ending is extremely predictable and emotionally FLAT...I quite literally couldn't care less who ends up with who...they're all attractive people I'm sure they'll do fine lol...but c'mon inject a bit of originally (or failing that, at least some humour) into the ending of the film...it's the final shot that stays with people, and Mel and Helen huggin on the stairs didn't really burn itself into my memory...
Mel Gibson/Helen Hunt fans: dig in, you will enjoy this! If you don't like Mel, or can't stand predictable romantic-comedies...steer clear! Oh, definite date movie, just keep the Marisa Tomei comments and drooling to a minimum, or that couch is gonna be where you spend the night! Take care people, TTT.
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
Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) is an arrogant, sexist executive who one day finds Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt) as his boss. That same night, after an accident he suddenly can hear what women think.
A nice angle, and it works pretty well until the last 30 minutes or so, when the 'big names' apparently had to hit it off to make it a true chick flick, while all 4 of us were rooting for the Erin character (Judy Greer). But until that moment, many laughs (or at least smiles).