Mel Gibson Tries to Answer an Age Old Question in “What Women Want”

By on November 28, 2000

The film “What Women Want” had the theatrical power to likely leave the women cringing at the idea of men being able to read their minds, and leaving the men craving for the chance to do so.
The hysterical film tells the story of Nick Marshall, a sexist advertising bigwig who played by the fantastic Mel Gibson. Nick is being forced to answer the age-old question that can still baffle men of “what women want.” This predicament is especially distressing for Nick, who was the son of a “real-life Las Vegas showgirl.”
Nick has spent most of his life as a womanizer, charming nearly every woman he met and eventually taking her home with him. Now he has to try to figure out what it is exactly that women want in order to help him come up with effective advertising campaigns for women’s products. Failing in this project could cost him a promotion.
Much to Nick’s dismay, a famous name in advertising is brought to the company- a woman named Darci McGuire, played by Helen Hunt. Darci is handed the position that Nick had expected to receive. Nick’s boss felt that the company needed to tap into an unclaimed gold mine of companies searching for advertisers who could “get into the minds of women”, and the womanizing Nick did not seem like the man for the job. Nick Marshall sets out for revenge on Darci, in an attempt to get the position that he felt he deserved.
One of the most hilarious scenes was the beginning of the movie involves Nick and a box of products for women that needed advertising. The box included lipstick, pantyhose, a waxing kit, and bath beads. The bath beads would play a part in Nick obtaining his power to read women’s mind. If you want to see exactly how, however, you have to see the movie. It’s really quite scary.
Although initially terrified by the power he has been “blessed” with, Nick realizes the power he has now. He uses it to his advantage, in his personal life and at work. With it, he finally scores a date with the girl he has been pining over, Lola, played by Marisa Tomei. More importantly, he uses his power to get inside the mind of Darcy, and steal some of her advertising ideas.
Nick’s plan to take down Darcy and get the position he wants seems like it may actually work. However, Nick’s love for women may just stand the way. And it will show up in the most unlikely place.
“What Women Want” is a break from the action/comedy “Lethal Weapon” movies that Mel Gibson is famous for. His wit turns up again in this film, but the humor is taken to yet another level as Gibson is forced to pull off some comedy stunts that likely made him uncomfortable (Hint: Remember the waxing kit I mentioned before?)
Helen Hunt was great as Darcy in this film. In fact, she used her own wit to match that of Gibson’s character. The chemistry between the two was unbeatable.
The film is also supported by a great soundtrack, mainly composed of the hits of the legendary late Frank Sinatra.
” What Women Want” will keep you laughing even as you leave the theatre. Despite an abrupt ending which the director could have elaborated on more, this movie was worth a trip to the theatre. The outrageous ideas introduced in this film are likely to be a major topic of conversation among men and women for time to come. This is definitely a must-see. Grade A


About Kristen Daley