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What Women Want

Starring: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt
Director: Nancy Meyers
Genre: Comedy
Year: 2000
Rating: 3 / 5

After months of exhaustive study and two hours in front of a television, I can now reveal my findings about What Women Want. It turns out - pause for dramatic effect - that women want Mel Gibson. In Nancy Meyers' What Women Want, an entertaining tale starring Gibson and Helen Hunt, we are repeatedly subjected to women singing the praises of Gibson's eyes, derriere, and - gulp! - sexual performance. (For a moment, I thought I might have drifted off into a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, but, fortunately, that was not the case.) All of this comes about thanks to our lead character's ability to read women's minds, resulting in some rather humorous situations. It makes What Women Want an enjoyable - if somewhat flaky - diversion.

Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson) is God's gift to women, or so he thinks. A power broker at one of Chicago's top three advertising firms, Nick seems destined for a promotion to a directorship. If that were not enough, Nick seems to bring a different woman home every night, never doubting his true purpose in life. Things are turned upside-down for Nick, however, when his firm decides to hire Darcy McGuire (Helen Hunt) for "his" position. It seems that his boss does not believe Nick has what it takes to get inside the female mind. An entire advertising market is being neglected by the firm, and a strong female director is what is needed to capture this lost business.

Tasked by Darcy to better understand women and the products marketed to them, Nick heads home for an evening of hair wax, panty hose, and Wonder Bras. In the midst of this period of discovery, Nick stumbles into his bathtub, hair dryer in hand, and shocks himself unconscious. When he wakes, he learns the strangest thing - he can actually hear what women are thinking! Convinced that this is a curse, Nick does everything in his power to rid himself of this "gift," including an attempt to attract lightning. A visit to his former therapist, however, convinces him to change his tune. He has been granted a wonderful talent, one which will surely help him succeed at work and at play.

Mel Gibson is one of those major movie stars adored by both men and women alike, making him an ideal choice to play soon-to-be reformed playboy Nick Marshall. It does not hurt that Gibson seems to have a genuine good time with role, particularly when applying nail polish and donning a pair of hose. Even more impressive may be a throwaway sequence involving a short dance with a hat rack. Helen Hunt is a capable love interest, although a bit of the film's message is lost by having a shy, hesitant female in a position designed to illustrate "girl power." A thoroughly odd ending also holds this film back, but not enough to make us forget how funny it can be to learn What Women Want.

Cast:

Mel Gibson..........Nick Marshall
Helen Hunt..........Darcy McGuire
Alan Alda..........Dan Wanamaker
Marisa Tomei..........Lola

Certification: Rated PG-13 for language.
Running Time: 126 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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