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What Women Want

A movie directed by Nancy Meyers

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What Women Want – well, not really

  • Jan 21, 2002
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 I didn’t find O, Brother, Where Art Thou funny, I found this movie entirely hilarious. For one thing, I love Gibson. I find his comedic roles just as entrancing as his serious roles. Kinda Cary Grant like, where just a look can cause laughter. I always found Cary Grant one of the best deadpan comics alive. Do not get me wrong, this wasn’t an earth shattering movie. In fact, it was borderline tripe, but I am tripe driven.

The happenings in this release concern that nasty bad boy bachelor Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) that is a hotshot at a big ad agency. Expecting to move up the corporate ladder, he is slapped down when head exec (Alan Alda) hires new blood for the premier spot, Ms. Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt). Known about town as a barracuda, Darcy steps in with her best foot forward (a well turned foot I might add) and throws out some new ideas, trying to generate more business from the female side of purchasing.

Sending the gang home with a box of goodies, instructions are to come up with advertising campaigns that will endear the feminine pocketbook, tough guy Marshall decides to give it a whirl. In the course of his investigation, he decides to try out all the products included in the box (these are all feminine products BTW) and what results is one funny bathroom scene. It also results in good old Nick falling into the bathtub, along with the blow dryer, and getting a shock that changes him completely.

Now, I’ll just take a moment out – I know with the new GFI plugs in bathrooms it cuts the circuit to the electricity in these cases, but still ……. Sorry, that just bothered me.

Anyway, Nick is suddenly able to ‘hear’ women. I don’t mean when they are talking either kids, but their thoughts, all their thoughts. In fact, he is swamped with their thoughts. Now at times, I am sure this could be a bonus, but I would think at others – like the bedroom scenes – poor Nick. Whereas he always believed he was some kinda stud, it turns out the ladies have different thoughts – like, ‘Is he ever gonna finish?’ Could be a blow to the poor male psyche, having all this information.

Sure, I realize this sounds like so much slap stick humor as to make you want to puke, but once in a while you need a laugh. Gibson is just able to do that for me because he always appears to be such a sincere idiot. Just as hyperactive as he was in Conspiracy Theory, I loved every minute he was on camera.

Now, Helen Hunt. Hey, she never looked like that on Mad About You. I think her best film, in my book, was As Good As It Gets. I won’t give her an applaud for the part she played in this movie because for someone that was supposed to have balls the size of Brooklyn, she sure was easily swayed by Gibson. And Alan Alda, never one to garner a compliment from me other than his stint on ER, and his role in White Mile and Same Time Next Year. We won’t even count M.A.S.H., it was in a field all its own.

The only good thing that really comes from this movie is Gibson’s interaction with Andrea Taylor, the lowly office intern with a thought toward suicide. Actually, she just feels so shut off from everyone, she doesn’t believe they would even notice if she never showed up one day. This is probably the only humanistic trait that Nick Marshall shows in the entire movie because after all he was nothing but a typical male chauvinist pig otherwise, but I loved him just the same.

No nominations for this baby, but didn’t expect any. Directed by Nancy Meyers, written by Josh Goldsmith & Cathy Yuspa. Stars: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Alan Alda, Lauren Holly, Delta Burke, Valerie Perrine and a cameo by Bette Midler. A shaky thumbs up.


***Compliments of : Department of Computer Science
School of Engineering, University of Virginia


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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 . 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’s modern world, where nothing seems to be beyond the reach of technology, …
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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 ...

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Director: Nancy Meyers
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: December 15, 2000
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: May 08, 2001
Runtime: 2hrs 6min
Studio: Paramount
First to Review

"Great Film."
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