What do we think when we hear the name Mel Gibson? Do we think Mad Max? Braveheart? Lethal Weapon? Gibson has stayed primarily to the action genre and it his worked out great, so he's playing his chances when he tries something else, like romance comedy. And he won the jackpot.
What Women Want is refreshingly funny and witty, and surprisingly un-chick-flish-ish for about seventy five percent of the time, which is about as good as any guy can hope for. The only one that tops this significantly is Forget Paris.
The movie has Mel Gibson as a male chauvinist who suddenly finds himself working for a female. He also finds that he can suddenly hear what women are thinking when he falls into a bathtub with a blow-dryer. As he gets used to his excellent gift, he realizes just how much every woman thinks he is an idiot, and he begins to change and come into tune with what women want.
Of course, the funniest part about the movie is that we get to hear what the women are thinking. Now, anyone could write in a bunch of little things to make us laugh, but I think the writers did an excellent job in really portraying some real female thought. I'm no expert, of course, but the thoughts seemed realistic and sincere, which also made them all the funnier.
Mel Gibson also does an excellent job reacting to this onslaught of thoughts, and I must give him praise for his excellent and charming performance. He has the stuff that the female audience wants to see, but he also thinks how most guys think.
The best part about this movie is the way it relates to the audience. Women were cracking up as the movie pointed out real simple feminine things that guys just simply don't understand, and I found it entertaining just how truthful it was about showing how guys don't have a clue. We don't have a clue, and it was fun to make fun of ourselves.
But there is a chick flick side to this movie and, unfortunately, it all comes in the last half hour of the film. This sort of sucks since the comedy just about dies altogether about a half an hour away from the finish line, leaving the guys to close their eyes and get bored. In fact, the ending lagged on for an incredibly long time; too long of a time. But let's consider it a trade-off; we get a really funny hour and a half for a half hour of sappiness.
I also didn't like Helen Hunt in this movie. She's a fine actress but there was something about her that I just didn't like in the movie. She seemed almost too emotional considering that her character was a very upstanding business woman. Sometimes, she just was irritating, whether in the way she spoke, what she spoke, or how she acted. I really wanted Mel Gibson to end up with Marisa Tomei, but, alas, he did not. Or maybe he should have ended up with the suicidal girl, since she was one of the more interesting segments of the story.
What Women Want is the romance comedy that guys want; funny almost to the end. It also has what women want; a witty script that really shows what women want, and just how much guys don't understand.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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