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What Women Want (Nancy Meyers) 2000

What a piece of tripe (no offense to tripe)! Poorly directed mock feminism doesn't really speak to me. I think Dr. T. & the Women tackled the exact same issue with MUCH better results (though I'm apparently in the minority on that one...).  I think the film's inherent premise is solid, but it's completely squandered here. The film's perception of feminine desires is messed up, which is odd since it was predominantly written by women and was directed by a woman. Gibson doesn't find what women want, he finds what marketing executives think women want. Feh. At least Dr. T. & the Women was smart enough to realize a guy can't fully understand what women want instead of pretending that its protagonist has somehow gotten exceptionally profound (which WWW does WAY too often in its dreadful last 45 minutes.)

I'm sure it's a going to be a huge hit compared Dr. T., but consider this. This film's supporting cast includes Delta Burke and Lauren Holly versus Dr. T's Kate Hudson & Laura Dern. That's a good analogy of the quality between the two films. The only common link, Helen Hunt, is fine in both (though in What Women Want she's the only thing that works as opposed to her fine addition to the stellar ensemble's work in Dr. T.).  Everything's so dumbed down in this film, that I really couldn't bring myself to laugh at all. Ugh. Why do we have to watch Gibson dress like a woman TWICE? Why does one electric shock give him his powers, one have no effect, and then another take them away? Why can he only hear what women supposedly want when it's funny? Ugh, ugh!!! The film's filled with direction by choice of soundtrack (the worst sequence being the "What a Girl Wants" prom dress sequence in which they cut like clockwork on every 4th beat) and obnoxious quick cuts. It's really quite amateurish. The big revelation at the end of the film that all women basically just want Mel Gibson keeps with the intelligence level on display here. They can keep him.

*

September, 2001

Jeremy Heilman