Reviewed by: Hillari Hunter
|Featuring:||Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Lauren Holly, Marisa Tomei, Bette Midler|
|Producer:||Bruce A. Block, Carmen Finestra, David McFadzean, Stephen McEveety, Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa, Stephen McEveety, David McFadzean, Bruce Davey, Gina Matthews, Matt Williams, Nancy Meyers, Susan Cartsonis|
Nick (Mel Gibson) is a chauvinistic, top level Chicago ad executive who is in pre-celebration mode regarding a promotion he thinks he’s going to get. He’s upset to find that his boss has hired Darcy Maguire instead. Darcy’s first project for her staff is to test women’s products in order for them to come up with ideas as to how to sell them. During testing the items at home, Nick is accidentally electrocuted. When he regains consciousness the next morning, Nick is horrified to learn that he can read women’s minds. After his former marriage counselor points out that Nick now has an advantage, he decides to use his newfound “gift” to discredit Darcy.
“What Women Want” is a light romantic comedy that makes good use of Gibson’s charm as a loveable rogue who has some lessons to learn about respecting women. It’s fun to watch his reactions when he realizes that most of the women around him don’t think much of him, including his teenaged daughter. The music in this film, with the exception of a couple of songs, is straight Rat-Pack retro.
Some of the humor is a bit raunchy for the film’s PG-13 rating, but the profanity is kept to a minimum. Nick sleeps with another woman he’s after (Marisa Tomei), and he catches his daughter in a passionate embrace with her boyfriend, but there’s no nudity. Nick is shown drinking a lot, and his former marriage counselor (Bette Midler) puffs on a marijuana cigarette.
Most of the supporting players, including Loretta Devine as the door person in Nick’s apartment building, add some nice touches to the farcical goings-on. Unfortunately, the premise wears thin after it becomes apparent that the writers have missed some golden opportunities to make Nick’s situation more of a amusing commentary on male-female relationships.