Yes, men are from Mars and women are from Venus. Men are strange, women are crazy…it’s an age-old struggle. You think you know what to do and how to act to impress the opposite sex, but in reality, you’re a fool. Of course they would make a movie like What Women Want! Was there ever any doubt? I actually used to own the DVD of this movie, but since it has been lost somewhere in my past, I decided to go ahead and watch this on Netflix. This is a movie I remember enjoying, but does it hold up? Let’s get into it.
What Women Want stars Mel Gibson as womanizing Nick Marshall. When his job hires Darcy Maguire as the new creative manager instead of him, he finds it his goal to sabotage her job, take all her ideas and use them as his own…which turns out to be a lot easier when an accident allows him to hear the thoughts of ever woman around him. However, hearing women’s thoughts is more serious than he initially thought it would be.
Some films have patterns, and the pattern of this film is – a temporary mystical ability or inability ultimately changes the main character. The same pattern can be seen in Bruce Almighty or Liar, Liar, for instance. The funny thing about these movies is…in order for there to be a big enough difference in character, he or she has to be the complete opposite when the movie begins – to an almost unbelievable manner. Take Yes Man for instance (I know, I’m using way too many Jim Carrey references). In Yes Man, Jim says no to literally everything, it doesn’t make any real logical sense, it just helps the story progress when he needs to say yes to everything. In What Women Want, Mel Gibson is more than a womanizer, he doesn’t understand them, nor does he care to. He’s had a divorce and can’t even remember the age of his own daughter. They really wanted his character to be a sexist in every possible manner…but the weird thing is, out of all these mystical films, this introduction makes the most sense. We do live in a very sexist society – and as much fun as this film makes on the subject, it’s partially realistic.
The humor in this movie doesn’t hold up as much as I remember, it’s typical and makes sense, but otherwise…I didn’t really laugh. What’s surprising, on the other hand, is how deep it goes on an emotional level. Darcy, the CEO-type character, isn’t a cold-hearted nasty woman – as most women in her position are portrayed. She’s a kind, sweet, intelligent, and beautiful person…which is so different than what you’d see in practically any other film. Also, the relationship between Mel Gibson and the girl playing his daughter and the growth his character experiences with every scene is commendable. I really liked their chemistry. The best actor in the movie, in my opinion, was Judy Greer. She had a very small role, but it was very real, honest, and depressing – she was the balance this film needed and I wish they focused a little more on her part.
What Women Want won’t tell you what women want as much as tell you why they want it – or feel as if they need it. Underneath all the lackluster or otherwise cheesy comedic moments, there’s a surprisingly unmatched level of honesty and meaningful depth at the core that will stick with you for a while. Currently, you can watch it on Netflix, so give it a try if you haven’t seen it!