Mel-in head
What Women Want
Review by Ross Anthony

Whew. I must admit I had expected to spend at least some of this 2-hour production wincing at a suspiciously non-grey-haired Mel Gibson playing his cute card to death. But, like "Charlie's Angels," my fears of gritting teeth were pleasantly all for naught. "What Women Want" boldly goes where other romantic-comedies have only flirted -- straight into the heads of women.

Mel, raised in Las Vegas by a true blue showgal, could grow up but one way: a man's man, with a definitive idea of a woman's role in society (namely the bedroom). The story's beginning finds Mel, a successful advertising creator, in a firm soon to change its artistic direction. Helen Hunt steps in to remind this chauvinistic team that the market has shifted from male-minded consumers to decision making women, hence an about-face in advertisement strategy is in line. Of course, Mel has an unflattering "b" word for his new boss.

Ah, but due to a freak accident (whose timing couldn't have been better), Mel acquires the supernatural power to actually hear women's thoughts. How this comes to pass is completely hysterical and I have no intention of ruining that for you.

In fact, this movie provides plenty of hysterical moments. Our particular crowd busted its collective gut intermittently throughout the picture. In fact, they applauded graciously at fade to credits.

Mel and Helen are expectedly on the mark, but Marisa Tomei in a smaller role rips up the screen with her natural talent.

Barely a few sticky scenes could have been reworked, the sex roles are rather stereotyped, and having Mel react adversely to his new "power" seemed at first trite and contrived; but the overwhelming current of the film's fresh dialogue and crisp humor quickly eclipse these shortcomings.

A good fun film. Enjoy.

  • What Women Want. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Alan Alda, Ashley Johnson, Mark Feuerstein, Judy Greer.
  • Directed by Nancy Meyers.
  • Written by Josh Goldsmith & Cathy Yuspa.
  • Produced by Nancy Meyers, Bruce Davy, Matt Williams, Susan Cartsonis, Gina Matthews at Icon/Paramount.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:49:56 PDT