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Overall Rating

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 Charles Tatum

"Women want to be patronized?"
2 stars

Mel Gibson is a handsome man.

During the press junkets for this film, so many fluff entertainment reporters would question Mel, "so what DO women want?" The actor would laugh, the reporter would smile, and Entertainment Tonight would lead off with a cute story. It is obvious that the marketing department for the studio thought they knew what women wanted and gave it to them. Just look at the poster and video box- 'WHAT WOMEN WANT,' and a picture of an adorable Mel grinning from ear to ear. This film plays it so safe, I thought a minor trim could have turned this into a G-rated film.

Mel Gibson plays perhaps the nicest, sweetest, most likeable womanizer in film history. I was ready to see Mel treat women like crap, and get his comeuppance when he began to know what they were really thinking, but I was wrong. He stretches credibility by trying on women's products on the orders of his new boss Helen Hunt, and electrocutes himself in a bathtub with a hair dryer. Suddenly, he can hear what women are thinking. He uses this to begin to take down Hunt, who got the job he wanted, and beds the pathetic Tomei, knowing her every sexual wish. He also begins to read the mind of his daughter, Ashley Johnson, who is blossoming into womanhood (and he cannot do anything about it), and the mind of a suicidal mousy worker at his ad agency. You would think this kind of can't-miss set up would really score some points for relevance. I was wrong. Helen Hunt plays the exact same role she played on "Mad About You." I kept expecting everyone to call her Jamie before she went home to Paul Reiser. She comes to the agency with "bitch on wheels" rumors swirling about her, but she turns out to be nice. So nice. Too nice. Couldn't we see some kind of emotion from this character besides sheepish smiles?

Mel beds down Marisa Tomei's character in one embarassing scene. He has been asking her out for months, gets her into bed, decides he loves Hunt, so he gets rid of Tomei by telling her HE IS GAY. Where was the outcry from the homosexual community over this little bit of stupidity? Here is Mel, using an easy out (so to speak) to dump a character the writers should have trimmed in the first place. And why would a gay man spend months asking a woman out, sleep with her, and then admit he's gay? Does anyone else see the logic behind this, much less the fact that Tomei buys it and promptly removes herself from the film? I kept hoping she would pop up later and tell Hunt this little gay fact, but nope.

Ashley Johnson is wonderful as Mel's daughter who has obviously picked the wrong guy she plans to lose her virginity to on prom night. Thank God some casting director did not go cast Denise Richards or Jessica Biel in a role that required a substantial amount of teen awkwardness, and Johnson is great here. Bette Midler also has a completely unnecessary role here, in a cameo as a psychiatrist. Her role also seemed to be cast, and then written. If you are a known womanizer who can suddenly read the thoughts of the very women you pursue, do you really need Midler to tell you that you can use this power to get more women into bed? That would be my first thought! Midler also disappears, and I also kept waiting for her to pop up later. Never did.

Finally, the mousy suicidal clerk. Mel reads her mind. She is unhappy at work, no one would notice if she just died. Mel gets this constant vibe, is nice to her a couple of times, realizes he is partly to blame for her depression, and goes to see her when she does not show up for work one day- something she has been promising to do through the whole movie. Mel goes to her back alley apartment, gets showered in sparks, and loses his ability to read thoughts. He goes up to mousy girl's place anyway, breaks in, and finds an empty pill bottle and a suicide note! Oh, no, Mel's too late! The film does have an edge!...no, mousy girl pops out of the bathroom, Mel offers her a copywriting job, and he leaves to win back Hunt, who was fired by sensitive Alan Alda, and the job given to Mel. I thought, well, what about the empty pill bottle? After Mel left did she dial 911, tell them about her fabulous new job that cured her suicidal depression, and request a stomach pump?

The finale, involving Mel and Helen reciting what seems to be rejected Hallmark cards to each other is a letdown. When Mel is alone onscreen, he does that irritating habit where he has complete conversations with himself, like the dolt he played in "Conspiracy Theory." I wanted him to just shut up so often. Well, one of my longest reviews concludes, but there was a lot wrong with this film. This really is not a film, it is the result of test audience samplings and opinion polls. This is easy film making by committee, guaranteed to make money and not harm anyone's career, although if you have an inkling what Delta Burke and Valerie Perrine's purposes were here, you are smarter than I.

This is lighter than a large cotton candy, and about as satisfying.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3906&reviewer=325
originally posted: 02/25/03 15:03:02
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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
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
1/02/01 Collegebrat19 This was a great movie I laughed the whole time. Mel Gibson gives an excellent performace. 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
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  15-Dec-2000 (PG-13)
  DVD: 16-Jan-2007


  11-Jan-2001 (M)

Directed by
  Nancy Meyers

Written by
  Josh Goldsmith
  Kathy Yuspa

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

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