What Women Want (2000)

Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Alan Alda
After an accident, a chauvenistic executive gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking.
Even though Gibson is a good sport in his role, What Women Want is a rather conventional, fluffy comedy-romance that doesn't make good use of its premise.
  • Paramount Pictures Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 15 Dec 2000 Released:
  • 08 May 2001 DVD Release:
  • $181.5M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

A romantic comedy that a guy can see too7/10

This is pretty much the typical romantic comedy, but with an interesting twist; the main character has the ability to hear womens thoughts. The important thing was that for it to work, the character would be placed in a lot of interesting comical situations, where you could laugh at it, without it being too mocking of womens thoughts, or too far-out to enjoy. It succeeds pretty well, however the way the character gains and loses the ability were handled somewhat poorly. The humor is good, and there is plenty of it, throughout the entire runtime. The characters were believable, and the main character eventually grew to be likable. The plot was good, and the acting likewise. The only thing that brings the movie down, is the poor execution of the gain/loss of the ability to hear womens thoughts, and the sugar-sweet ending, that was too predictable and plain boring, as anyone who's seen one of the hundreds(possibly thousands) of romantic comedies out there. No actual new stuff brought to the table, apart from the interesting and original concept of a man being able to hear what women are thinking. OK for a romantic comedy. 7/10
Does Anyone Really Know? Even Mel?8/10

Here is a movie that, to be sure, is part fantasy, part wacky comedy; but to call `What Women Want,' directed by Nancy Meyers, `just' a comedy would be not only inaccurate, but would be doing an injustice to the film as well. Because-- while there are plenty of laughs to be had (especially early on)-- in the end, there is a lot more bite and substance to it than first meets the eye. Enough to definitely raise it far above the `fluff' piece many will perceive it to be, if only due to some shallow reviews and the theatrical trailer currently being shown, which gives only the vaguest notion of what this movie is really all about. In fact, once most of the `cute' stuff is out of the way (about a third of the way through), the film really starts to get good,with a message about decency that is worthwhile, if only it can penetrate the formidable barrier of the viewer with an attention span barely able to accommodate an episode of `Friends.' Beyond the humor, there is a story here about a man named Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) who literally receives the shock of his life, and afterwards must deal with who he is by coming to terms with his past, realizing the truth about himself in the present, and understanding what his future will be if he does not change his ways . It's something of a contemporary take on `A Christmas Carol,' with Nick an egotistical, self-centered, witty (In his own eyes) Scrooge; a veritable legend in his own mind, which is not-- as he comes to find out-- necessarily the way he is perceived by many of those around him, especially the women in his professional life. The screenplay, written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith, is extremely insightful and brought to the screen with equal acuity by director Meyers, who goes to great lengths at the beginning of the film to explain Nick's exaggerated chauvinism, what made him the `Man's man' he has become. And while it is clever and effective, closer scrutiny in the editing room may have benefited the overall film, as his character is somewhat `overly' established. But just about at the point when you're saying to yourself, `All right I get it!' Meyers grabs the helm with both hands and suddenly the ship is at full mast and on course, where she keeps it for the rest of the journey. The turning point comes after Nick's visit to a marriage counselor (a terrific cameo by Bette Midler) with whom he had had business some years before. It's as if not only Nick, but Meyers as well, had heeded Bette's advice. Mel Gibson does a good job of getting into Nick Marshall's skin, and he's to be commended for going out on a limb and taking on a character that may not be immediately embraced by even die-hard Gibson fans. It's a testimony to his ability as an actor, though, because he does make Nick the epitome of chauvinism, and except for the few throw-back Neanderthals (women as well as men) still in existence who subscribe to the `Man's man' theory of de-evolution, Nick will effect the same response from the audience that he does in the minds of many of the women who surround him in the movie. It's only when you've had a chance to consider Gibson's performance at arm's length that you will realize how good he is in this film. On the other hand, the real saving grace of this movie is immediately discernible, and that is the performance of the wonderful Helen Hunt. As Darcy McGuire, the professional hired to lead the ad agency for whom Nick works into the Twenty-first Century, Hunt is nothing less than sensational. One of the most gifted, expressive actors in the business, she raises the level of the drama (not to mention the comedy) by succinctly conveying the strength-- and at the same time the vulnerability-- of Darcy, while exhibiting a depth of emotion that adds so much to the impact (and the success) of the film. And, in a notable supporting role, Judy Greer is memorable as Erin, a lonely young woman who works at the ad agency. It's the `Tiny Tim' role of the film, and though a small part, it figures prominently in revealing Nick's inner-most feelings at a pivotal moment of the film. Rounding out the supporting cast are Alan Alda (Dan), Marisa Tomei (Lola), Ashley Johnson (Alexandra), Mark Feuerstein (Morgan), Lauren Holly (Gigi), Delta Burke (Eve), Valerie Perrine (Margo) and Sarah Paulson (Annie). What Meyers has created here is a mixed-bag, sleight-of-hand bit of entertainment that is so much more than what it seems to be on the surface that it is bound to evoke an equally mixed-bag of reactions (positive and negative) from the audience. It's amusing-- downright funny at times-- but also exasperating. To receive the full rewards offered by `What Women Want,' you're going to have to give it something as well. If you do, you'll be pleasantly surprised by what you get in return. And that, my friends, is the magic of the movies. I rate this one 8/10.
Hilarious! A laugh a minute!8/10

Mel Gibson is known as sort of a macho action hero, and stereotyped into his Mad Max/Martin Riggs persona. But I've noticed (except for "Braveheart" and "The Patriot") he injects comic relief into almost anything he does. So doing a straight comedy doesn't seem like much of a stretch, and as you watch in a movie like this Gibson's timing and delivery is impeccable. On and off the camera, he has an incredible sense of humor, and he probably improvised some featured gags.

The premise is very original and interesting. A guy who can hear a woman's every thought? That's pretty much every man's fantasy. And the premise is used wisely. I laughed the whole way through! It's hilarious to watch Gibson emasculating himself by the minute, and the joke never runs dry.


I was laughing so much that I was able to tolerate the film's corny ending. I mean, when is a romantic comedy going to come along that doesn't feature a formulaic ending that is supposed to make people leave the theater and go "Awwww"?

The supporting cast is full of big stars. Bette Midler has an amusing cameo as a chain-smoking shrink. I only wish she could've had some additional scenes.

"What Women Want" is an original, feel-good comedy that will have you on the floor! This not a "chick flick." If you want to laugh--this is the movie to see! No questions asked!

My score: 8 (out of 10)
Is mind Reading the Only Way for Men to Understand?5/10

The film What Women Want is about a man, Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson), who has been characterized as a 'man's man,' a male who is the type of guy that other men look up to. Darcy Maguire (Helen Hunt) also stars and sends Marshall into a male power trip when she is offered a job position that he was trying so hard to get. Marshall is known for his ability to seduce women and fornicate with them. Most of the women in his life think that he is a self centered jerk, because of the way he objectifies them. Even his fifteen year old daughter feels as if they are not related because of his poor communication skills with women. But an unexpected twist took place one day while blow drying mousse in his hair. While he was going about his business, Marshall tripped, and fell into his bathtub full of water, being electrocuted severely. Oddly enough, what would kill a normal human being did not harm Nick in any way, rather than it mysteriously gave him the power to hear what women are thinking. So, equipped with his new skill, he goes about his day, not knowing he has this amazing ability. Throughout his random encounters with women, particularly at work, he comes to realize that all the women are not very fond of him.

In all movies, there is always a message of some sort that the director is trying to express. In this particular film, I believe there is more than one message. One of the dilemmas the movie expressed was women do not know what they want. Throughout the movie, women were constantly complaining about men, or their hair, or their outfit. The truth is that women do not know what they do want; only what they don't want. Another message it displayed is a world renown problem: the concept that men do not have a clue about women. They communicate differently as men, and want different things as well. Is reading women's minds the only way for men to understand? I sure hope not.

The technique of this movie is nothing to throw a fit over. The average cinematography isn't dazzling, but it is good enough to keep the viewer interested. The sound track was well thought out, with many famous songs helping out in several scenes and strongly assisting in setting the mood. A few things stand out in the movie that question reality. For example, Gibson falls into a full bathtub, gets electrocuted by thousands of volts, and only wakes up with a headache. At a different point in the movie he gets shocked again, but not by a household utensil. The second time it's by lightning, and again, just a headache. No singed eyebrows or fried shoelaces were to be found.

What Women Want is an entertaining movie at the least. Mel Gibson, as always, does an excellent job portraying his character, as well as Helen Hunt. The cast did a well-rounded job, and no one was out of place. I enjoyed the movie thoroughly and enjoyed the humor. The film was filled with talented acting, laughs, and lighthearted suspense. It would be a good recommendation for anyone who is bored and desires a humorous, fun movie. The idea of a man being able to read women's minds is clever and amusing. Should this ever happen, would it be classified as a gift, or a nightmare?
For all us guys.7/10
A man suddenly finds himself able to read women's minds and actually know what women want from men.Now,what guy doesn't want to be in that position? This was a terrific idea for a film and it was executed to perfection.Who better than Mel Gibson to represent us in this situation? He's the one man women probably wish understood them.At any rate,Gibson really turns on the Gibson charm here and there's not a better film in which to do that.Helen Hunt makes a great leading lady and is her usual charming self.Also,from the supporting cast,it's always great to see Alan Alda,one of the most underrated actors of our time.This film starts with a very unique,funny idea,and it does not disappoint in terms of how good it can be executed.Well casted,well directed and very funny film.