What Women Want
dir Nancy Meyers scr Josh Goldsmith, Cathy Yuspa
with Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Alan Alda, Ashley Johnson, Mark Feuerstein, Delta Burke, Valerie Perrine, Bette Midler, Lauren Holly, Eric Balfour, Kira Coplin
release US 15.Dec.00; UK 2.Feb.01
Paramount 00/US 2h07 4 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Mindreader. While falling in love, Darcy (Hunt) has no idea that Nick (Gibson) can hear her every thought...
A screwball comedy with a he-said-she-said theme, What Women Want is a thoroughly enjoyable bit of fluff raised to a much higher standard by an exceptionally talented cast. Nick (Gibson) is a misogynist man's man and a successful ad exec who loses a key promotion because the market needs a woman's perspective. The woman who gets the job is Darcy (Hunt), and as Nick sets out to undermine her, he's given a boost when a freak accident leaves him with the ability to read women's thoughts. Suddenly he's the right man for the job ... and he has the perfect tool to wreck Darcy's career path. Unless he falls in love with her first.

Meyers directs the film like a musical comedy without the songs (although Gibson gets a great dance number), and the result is a romance that completely wins over the audience with its warm humour, sharp observations on the battle of the sexes and smart performances from the entire cast. Gibson is in full charm mode, energetic and hilarious. Hunt is absolutely first-rate, as usual. And there's terrific support from the likes of Tomei (as an insecure actress-cum-coffee girl), Alda (the befuddled big boss), Johnson (Nick's long-ignored teen daughter), Burke and Perrine (his loyal secretaries), plus a witty cameo by Midler. For a film that's meant as a female empowerment flick, we get surprisingly little back story on Darcy, as opposed to a whole prologue about Nick. But that's not the point, is it? This is actually just a silly rom-com with a bit more insight than most ... and actors that can get us sighing along with them. Nice.

[15--themes, innuendo, language] 13.Dec.00

have you ever wondered? ~~~~~~~ ~~ ~~~ ~~~~

"Mel is gorgeous and I have always liked him in every movie I can remember. The trailers advertising this movie aren't as funny as the real scenes and movie itself. Mel plays Nick, a successful advertising agent, expecting a big promotion to creative director on his way to work one morning. You are given his background by his exwife: His mother was a Las Vegas showgirl, so he grew up around the show scene, with macho men and sexy women - so that is his view of the man/woman thing - he is really clueless as to what women really want or think because his view is distorted by his Las Vegas upbringing. He learns that his boss send your review to Shadows... (Alan Alda) has decided they need more input on the woman's point of view, so he has hired a woman, Darcy (Hunt), to be creative director. And the battle is on. Nick is determined toget the job he should have gotten and to undermine Darcy at every opportunity. While doing some research, he gets 'zapped' and discovers he can hear what women are really thinking. It is scary at first, until it is pointed out to him that he has what every man on this planet wants - the ability to know what women really are thinking and want. This movie was hilarious, funny and well done. I thought Mel was gorgeous in his black outfits, and Helen is as beautiful as ever. Marisa Tomei played a wannabe actress/coffee shop waitress - she was wonderful! I highly recommend this movie!" --Laurie T, frozen Minneapolis.

2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall