WHAT WOMEN WANT (2000)
Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Mark Feuerstein, Lauren Holly,
Alan Alda, Ashley Johnson, Delta Burke, Valerie Perrine, Judy Greer, Ana
Gasteyer, Lisa Edelstein, Loretta Devine, Richard Simmons, Brooke
Elliott and Bette
Screenplay by Josh
Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa.
Directed by Nancy
Distributed by Paramount Pictures. 126 minutes. Rated
What Women Want
What Women Want
is the very much the definition of the term "chick film." It is as
light as a feather -- not a big surprise coming from director Nancy
Meyers, who is responsible for
cinematic soufflés like Father of the Bride and
The Parent Trap. It has no real great meaning or revelations,
but for the most part it is charming and enjoyable.
Of course, he uses the ability to seduce women and take
advantage of them in business. This is interesting and funny... and
even rather touching in a situation where he
dates a wonderful, but under-used
Marisa Tomei. It actually
hinges on a truly terrific gimmick, Nick Marshall is a tough,
driven, chauvinistic ad man (and of course, being a chick film, he
looks like Mel Gibson) who suddenly gains the power to hear womens
Nicks world comes unhinged when he gets a new boss
who is a woman. Nick determines to use his skill to sabotage her
career and boost his own at the same time. Helen Hunt is fine
as this everyday businesswoman who gets Gibson
to fall in love with her and give up his rakish ways.
play an every-woman, because it seems she is in every film they make
In the long run, though, the film puts its audience and
its premise ahead of its central character. As much as the woman
writing What Women Want (and the women watching it) would
like to believe that a sexist like Nick will get a higher respect
for women by reading their thoughts, he would undoubtedly instead
just continue to use this ability to seduce and dominate them.
seems particularly true since an inordinate amount of these women
seem to be thinking about his butt.
By the time Gibson is growing as
a man and trying to relate with women by doing stuff like waxing the
hair on his legs, the film has swerved irretrievably into fantasy.
fairly likable fantasy perhaps, but a fantasy nonetheless.
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