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What Women Want is a 2000 American romantic comedy filmdirected by Nancy Meyers and starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. The movie achieved enormous success with a domestic gross of $182,811,707 and a worldwide gross of $374,111,707, against a budget of $70 million.

Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson), a Chicago ad executive, and alpha male, who grew up with his Las Vegas showgirl mother, is a chauvinist. He is skilled at selling to men and seducing women (such as local coffee attendant Lola (Marisa Tomei). However, just as he thinks he's headed for a promotion, his manager Dan (Alan Alda) informs him that is hiring the talents of Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt) instead, to broaden the firm's appeal to women.

Also, his estranged 15-year-old daughter Alex (Ashley Johnson) is spending two weeks with him while his ex-wife Gigi (Lauren Holly) goes on honeymoon with her new husband. Alex is embarrassed by Nick, and resents him being protective when she brings her boyfriend home.

Needing to prove himself to Darcy and Dan, Nick attempts to think of copy for a series of feminine products that Darcy gave out. However he slips and falls into his bathtub while holding an electric hairdryerelectrocuting himself. The next day, Nick wakes up able to understand his maid`s thoughts as she cleans his apartment. As he walks through a park and encounters numerous women he hears their innermost thoughts, even those of a female poodle. This proves to be an epiphany for him when he hears the thoughts of his female co-workers (some of whom have slept with him and regretted it). When he goes to a previous therapist (Bette Midler) (who also disliked him), she realizes his gift: "If Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, and you can speak Venusian, the world can be yours."

Nick eavesdrops on women's thoughts and uses their ideas as his own, but also develops real friendships with his co-workers. But as he spends more time with Darcy, he is attracted to her. However when he tries to get closer to his daughter, she resents him for trying after so many years of neglect. Nick shrewdly suspects her older boyfriend plans to sleep with her and then dump her, but she does not want his advice.

Nick and Darcy begin to spend more time together, and ultimately kiss. When he manages to trump Darcy out of her idea for a newNike ad campaign aimed at women, he regrets his selfishness, especially as it leads to her being fired.

Nick loses his gift during a storm while looking for an assistant named Erin (Judy Greer) whom he overheard planning suicide. He is also reconciled with his daughter when her boyfriend rejects her. Nick finally visits Darcy and explains everything. She regains her job and fires Nick. But she forgives him, and agrees to save him from himself, to which he responds "My hero". 

Director, writer, and producer Nancy Meyers's (THE PARENT TRAP) sophomore directorial effort is a lively screwball fantasy featuring Mel Gibson in his first romantic comedy. Gibson plays Nick Marshall, a high-flying chauvinistic Chicago advertising executive who, like his musical idol, Frank Sinatra, calls women "baby" and believes he has the world on a string. Nick experiences a rude awakening when the creative director position he coveted goes to Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt), a savvy outsider--and a woman--who intends to aggressively pursue the lucrative women's market. While trying to brainstorm ideas for "feminine" products, Nick experiences a freak accident that gives him the ability to hear women's thoughts. Determined to win back his stolen job, Nick uses his terrifying yet useful new talent to scrutinize Darcy and finds his smart, beautiful rival may not be the "bitch on wheels" he imagined. Meanwhile, he also must maneuver carefully within complex relationships with his estranged teenage daughter,...
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CastAlan Alda, Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Judy Greer, Mark Feuerstein, Marisa Tomei, Ashley Johnson, Lisa Edelstein, Lauren Holly, Valerie Perrine, Bette Midler, Delta Burke, Sarah Paulson, Alexondra Lee
DirectorNancy Meyers
Genre:  Comedy
Release Date:  December 15, 2000
MPAA Rating:  PG-13
Screen WriterCathy Yuspa, Josh Goldsmith, Diane Drake
DVD Release Date:  May 08, 2001
Runtime:  2hrs 6min
Studio:  Paramount
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More What Women Want reviews
review by . November 27, 2011
WHAT WOMEN WANT Still Eludes Us All
Back in the days when Mel Gibson had much more than a prayer for an acting career (circa 2000), he smartly with director Nancy Meyers in WHAT WOMEN WANT, the story of a sexist advertising executive who learns his lesson when he unwittingly develops the power to read only women’s minds.  The $70 million picture went on to gross almost $400 million worldwide, so it was perhaps inevitable that someone somewhere decided to cash in on the successful, romantic formula of a man earning a woman’s …
review by . March 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Why did people love Mel Gibson, before he set fire to his career? I watched this movie, and how I missed the old Mel, the funny Mel, the guy who could laugh at himself.    What Women Want is a battle of the sexes movie, but its also a very funny movie about the change that came to advertising when the retail world woke up and realized that women really did control a whole lot of the money. What to do? What to do? Things had progressed beyond Mad Men, of course but agencies still …
review by . January 21, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: I'm a sucker for Gibson     Cons: story is a bunch of fluff, so is Hunt's character     The Bottom Line: once in ahile you need a bit fluff           The Oracle says: Delta Burke has a Bacon number of 2.       Delta Burke was in Sordid Lives (2000) with Beth Grant    Beth Grant was in Flatliners (1990) with Kevin Bacon ***         Weird, yes I am. Where …
review by . December 13, 2000
Pros: Funny, Charming.     Cons: Predictable     The battle between the sexes has raged on for years with both men and women trying to understand the other sex, and to try to realize what the other truly wants. It was said that Sigmund Freud spent his final days debating women, and was very frustrated that he could not come to an understanding of them.      In today¬ís modern world, where nothing seems to be beyond the reach of technology, …
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"Great Film."
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