WHAT WOMEN WANT (2000) Review
DIR: Nancy Meyers
Mel Gibson, oh I mean, his Nick Marshall (Mel Gibson), is chauvinistic, self centered, obnoxious, inconsiderate, arrogant, presumptuous and sexist. His ex-wife (Lauren Holly) calls him the ultimate bachelor; he can’t do anything for himself and he’s the least politically correct guy in the universe. We’re still talking about Nick here, alright, please keep up.
Nick works at a super slick advertising firm in Chicago and he’s living the dream; people think he’s the coolest cat and do whatever he wants for him, whenever he wants. Then enter Darcy (Helen Hunt), a super successful big wig who is brought in to do the job that Nick was already celebrating getting. Nick speaks super highly of her from the get go, “I haven’t met the woman, but she sounds like a real man eater. I hear she is a bitch on wheels”, says the man who is super intimidated by fearless and successful women.
It goes without saying that Mel Gibson is one of the last people I would ever associate with knowing what women want, like, ever. I don’t care if he falls in a bath and gets electrocuted by a hairdryer, it’s just never going to happen. Stop trying to make fetch happen. But regardless of my thoughts on the matter, this is what happens. At first Nick decides to use his powers for evil instead of good (surprise surprise), stealing ideas from Darcy’s mind (all kinds of intrusive wrong) and attains the title of ‘sex god’ from the emotionally vulnerable Lola (Marisa Tomei). But then (and you’ll never have seen this coming), he starts to feel bad and has a change of heart. Of course he starts to fall in love with Darcy, because she’s actually a super smart and switched on mega babe, but because he’s been a colossal dick up until now, there’s a good chance he’s blown it. Or has he?
I am super familiar with this film, when I was younger, my grandmother had it on VHS and I would watch it, rewind and watch it again and repeat several times over until she got jack of it and intervened. This is the first time I’ve re-watched as an adult and I have to say, it’s a very hard watch, due to old mate at the forefront. His fall from grace since the release of What Women Want is pretty irreversible and any endearing factors prior to that have since been forgotten. Sorry Mel.
Conclusion: what women really want is a man that will listen to them and who is sensitive to their needs. I may have only been 11 years old when this film was released, but I sure as hell can think of about 500 things I want before that. But then again, chances are I’m just a man eating bitch on wheels, who knows.
Chloe Sesta Jacobs is a people and culture geek who loves writing about film and usually does so with her two miniature sausage dogs lying all over her. Chloe really enjoys world cinema and has been heard to say “if it doesn’t have subtitles, don’t talk to me”. She also tweets a LOT at @csestajacobs.