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Overall Rating
3.08

Awesome: 10.63%
Worth A Look30.63%
Just Average: 26.88%
Pretty Crappy: 20%
Sucks: 11.88%

12 reviews, 88 user ratings


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What Women Want (2000)
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by EricDSnider

"Apparently, men and women are very different. I know! But it's true!"
3 stars

Men and women are very different, and each gender often doesn't know what the other is thinking! That's the earth-shattering message expressed so cutely in "What Women Want," a soft romantic comedy focusing on a man, but made for women.

Directed by Nancy Meyers (who I think might actually be Nora Ephron, especially with this film's reliance on Sinatra-era music), "What Women Want" stars Mel Gibson as Nick Marshall, a sexist Chicago advertising wizard who suddenly finds himself with the ability to hear women's thoughts.

This comes after an electric shock, which comes when Nick, depressed and drunk over a woman getting the promotion he wanted, tries on a bunch of women's products he's supposed to come up with ad campaigns for and then falls into the bathtub while holding a hair dryer.

Is it funny to see Mel Gibson in panty hose? Well, certainly. Is it funny to see Nick Marshall wild-eyed and blithering when he realizes that every woman he knows thinks he's a chauvinistic pig? For a minute or two.

The real comedy is after that, when Nick realizes how great a power this can be. If he knows what women want, he can have sex with all of them. (Of course, if he knows what women want, he'll know that sex isn't the only thing on their minds.) He'll also be able to come up with ideas for ads for lipstick and women's running shoes -- ideas that actually belong to the aforementioned man-eating executive, Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt). He starts undermining Darcy's career at the ad firm, while also falling in love with her.

His sabotage is so subtle, though, that not only is Darcy unaware of it, but the audience seems to be left out, too. We see the scheme occur to him, and a few brief instances of him employing it ... and then nothing. That and a few other details (like Nick's office buddy, Morgan, played by Mark Feuerstein, who disappears suddenly after the first half-hour) get lost in the shuffle.

The result is that about half-way through the film, you realize there's no conflict. The novelty of Nick's fun super-power has worn off, and you start trying to focus on the plot instead ... and you realize there isn't one. Keeping Nick from being too vicious in his plan to steal Darcy's job keeps him from being a despicable character, but it also waters down a lot of potentially good conflicts, plot twists and dilemmas.

A lot of comic potential goes untapped, too, right up to the the last minute, when the film ends with a kiss rather than a joke. A woman smokes pot in Nick's presence. What will her drug-impaired thoughts be? The movie skips it. A woman calls Nick on the phone. How will he know the difference between what she's saying and what she's just thinking? He is mildly confused twice, and then she apparently doesn't have any more thoughts after that.

(One joke that is great is when Nick encounters his two fawning and vacuous secretaries. They say a few things, and then he waits, listening for their thoughts. And there are none. Just as you would guess from looking at them, they really ARE just standing there, absolutely nothing on their minds.)

Mel Gibson is altogether charming as Nick. He's not the least bit convincing as a politically incorrect cad; fortunately, he only has to do it for a few minutes before he gets zapped. The rest of the time, he's affable and friendly. He's entirely too old to be a swinging bachelor, and the film has its flaws, but darned if you don't like him and it anyway.

Helen Hunt, elegant and smart as always, holds her own with the powerhouse that is Mel Gibson. I'm guessing what women want is this movie, and men won't mind it too much either. We critics, well, we have to point out its shortcomings. But that doesn't mean we didn't mostly enjoy ourselves.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3906&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/06/03 22:46:11
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User Comments

4/05/13 CC I usually hate romcoms, but great performance from Mel & great review. 4 stars
4/01/11 Monday Morning No excuse for a 165-minute running time. Way excessive. 2 stars
9/14/08 Bill H I hated the musical montage the most. 1 stars
8/18/08 Shaun Wallner Never laughed so hard in my Life!! 5 stars
5/28/08 PAUL SHORTT WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS; MEN ARE FROM THE GUTTER - TYPE ATTITUDE 1 stars
2/09/08 Samantha P funny film, with great soundtrack! 4 stars
12/20/07 Wendell Maness Women are not too smart, easy to cheat on! 3 stars
7/10/07 Tiffany Losco funny, cute movie 5 stars
3/06/07 Stanley Thai A funny film and well-acted. 4 stars
7/11/06 srii romantic pretty funny moview 4 stars
7/10/06 David Cohen I refuse to believe women are as stupid as this movie portrays them 1 stars
5/23/06 ffffffffffffffffffff its romantic 4 stars
3/27/06 Brian Meyer Taking Mr. "Sexiest man alive" down a peg is as fun as Scwarzenegger's "JUNIOR" 2 stars
9/04/05 Katie It was great! I loved it! 5 stars
4/27/05 chandrakanth k s soft ramance which is soothing 4 stars
9/14/04 Jack Sommersby TV-style development of TV-ish story premise. Well-acted, though. 2 stars
8/07/04 indian boy awesome movie one of the greatest 5 stars
9/16/03 Fluffy Ears Henkelschmidt IV Worst acting and unfunniest film of the year 1 stars
7/31/03 omar "surfur" youssef Well-casted, well-written, and well-made. A hilarious must-see! One of Gibson's finest. 5 stars
7/23/03 Kit Pretty funny movie 4 stars
7/17/03 Chris A little to commercialize but still fun as a whole. Ranges from hillarious to mild but fun. 4 stars
4/08/03 JL I thought this was a cute, light hearted movie. 3 stars
2/25/03 GMan Aaaaah....Helen Hunt....I would fuck you.... 2 stars
1/21/03 Pinkline Jones An insult to the intelligence. Gibson is simply awful. 1 stars
12/04/02 Gazza E Really good. One of the better romantic comedies of recent years. 4 stars
10/23/02 Charles Tatum Cloying and cutesy 2 stars
7/04/02 KMG It was okay....not used to seeing Mel in anything but crime or period pieces 3 stars
6/06/02 stud good 4 stars
3/27/02 Sery I thought this movie was so cute. Helen Hunt is a great actress. Jake-the voices ARE real 4 stars
2/20/02 Xaver Entertaining and fun. Not profound...it wasn't meant to be. 4 stars
1/08/02 hilary awesome 5 stars
1/07/02 Mr. Hat Mel Gibson is cool. I love this movie. 5 stars
12/28/01 Jake Struck by lighting? Is that healthy? The women's voices were phony at times and annoying! 2 stars
10/02/01 Kirk Well, at least it was different. Seeing Mel in pantyhose was worth the price of admission! 4 stars
10/01/01 Andrew Carden Pretty Funny and Delightful Movie. 4 stars
9/27/01 Vanmarsenille Rohnny nice way to spend an evening 4 stars
8/27/01 Anastasiou Dimitris Give the money of your ticket to a homeless!!! 1 stars
7/29/01 Jennifer Gaissert Loved Mel dancing with the hat, but poorly written 3 stars
7/28/01 Henry Ginsberg Fit women .Crap movie . 2 stars
7/24/01 SJKelley Expectations land like a thud. MsAsh's review is ridiculous. 2 stars
7/22/01 D.R. Unresolved to me- ok "you're fired but I still love-please stay" Very good otherwise 4 stars
7/17/01 KMK no real laughs. waste of time 1 stars
7/16/01 Piz Predictable, flat, boring, no surprises, no chemistry, What were Gibson and Hunt thinking? 2 stars
6/29/01 martin this review sucks - it's a great film 5 stars
6/12/01 J Excellent Comedy but err..."not-so" excellent drama overall a good movie. 4 stars
6/12/01 Terrie Smith A couple of good moments; Gibson & Hunt lack charisma as a romantic team.. 3 stars
6/08/01 Turtle After the first, juicy hour, crap is sandwiched into the film, and the end doesn't save it. 3 stars
5/29/01 Thatguy Gibson's cool, for the first hour. The rest sucks. 2 stars
5/21/01 Monday Morning Chick flick for female Mel fans. Otherwise very unremarkable. 3 stars
5/13/01 Movie Freek Cute, but disposable. 3 stars
5/13/01 Babybelle well I loved it...nice cosy mel-ting chocolate movie 5 stars
5/08/01 The Bomb 69 fun entertainment 4 stars
4/04/01 Hawkeye Who knew Mel could dance? Funny as hell to watch, if predictable. 4 stars
3/07/01 Ed Lewandowski Has its moments. Mainly boring. 3 stars
2/26/01 Matthew Bartley Echh..it was so-so 3 stars
2/20/01 voyant A few good moments, but mostly disappointing. Wait for the video. 3 stars
2/18/01 Avenger Girl Very predictable, but Mel and Helen play great roles. Worth the money to see it 4 stars
2/15/01 Michael Nicholls No...nobody wants it! 1 stars
2/09/01 Franny Streder It was so awesome. Mel Gibson is so hot. 5 stars
2/09/01 Cathy Poirier very good movie, sexy Mel 5 stars
2/08/01 KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi Thank god Mel Gibson can't read my mind...I'd be thinking very dirty thoughts. >=) 4 stars
1/22/01 Piz long AND predictable...what a combo! 2 stars
1/22/01 Christopher Ruggles This film was a great film to see. I would go and pay the 7 dollars to see it again.=-) 5 stars
1/20/01 Teresa Maloney I loved it! 4 stars
1/20/01 mazi mimir 1 stars
1/18/01 JRN516 very very good 4 stars
1/18/01 Nick Excellent 5 stars
1/16/01 Belinda Way too long. 2 stars
1/14/01 JRN516 I LIKE VERY FEW MOVIES. THIS ONE MAKDE ME FEEL GOOD THROUGH THE ENTIRE MOVIE 5 stars
1/02/01 Collegebrat19 This was a great movie I laughed the whole time. Mel Gibson gives an excellent performace. 5 stars
1/02/01 RAINBOW GREAT SHOW VERY FUNNY! DEFINATELY WORTH THE MONEY 5 stars
1/02/01 Zavon Too much crammed in to too short a space...there's a superior film trying to get out here. 3 stars
1/01/01 Hamburger the worst movie I've seen in a long time 1 stars
1/01/01 Jenny-My-Fur ok so we know helen and mel rock, but i am sorry this movie blew! 3 stars
12/31/00 Dario Better than what the critics say! 4 stars
12/29/00 Bassam So greet 4 stars
12/27/00 Sansnet Watkins I liked it; I thought the writing was pretty truthful and that Mel looked great 4 stars
12/27/00 Andrea The only funny parts were the ones already in the previews....it was dumb 1 stars
12/23/00 Monique A fantastic girly movie! 5 stars
12/20/00 orpy A few laughs, not believable but light entertainment 4 stars
12/19/00 poetcdh Good laughs, nice romantic comedy 4 stars
12/18/00 John Lyons Pretty good movie, Helen Hunt looked great! 4 stars
12/18/00 denise Great premise, poorly executed, should be titled "What stero-typical women want" 2 stars
12/17/00 fishie An Ok movie, a little thin in the storyline. Good one to wait and rent it. 4 stars
12/16/00 Angus moorehead Mel Gibson! What is the attraction? a mediocre actor, always been. 2 stars
12/16/00 Erik C. Thauvin God forbid us "men" would admit enjoying this movie. 4 stars
12/16/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Just came back from this flick. Oh my god, Mel looked better in, Man Without A Face. 1 stars
12/15/00 Louis THIS MOVIE SUCKS! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-Dec-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 16-Jan-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
  11-Jan-2001 (M)


Directed by
  Nancy Meyers

Written by
  Josh Goldsmith
  Kathy Yuspa

Cast
  Mel Gibson
  Helen Hunt
  Marisa Tomei
  Alan Alda
  Lauren Holly
  Bette Midler



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