Starring: Mel Gibson, Helen Hunt, Alan Alda
Director: Nancy Meyers
Running Time: 127 mins
What Women Want is an American film about a chauvinistic man who mysteriously gains the ability to hear women’s thoughts, changing his opinions on the life of a woman and his behaviour towards them.
As ridiculous as its premise may seem, What Women Want is one of those Hollywood rom-coms that uses a bit of fable-like fantasy to really great effect. With really great performances across the board and strong writing throughout, it’s a funny and really rather touching watch.
One of the biggest strengths of the film comes in the form of lead actor Mel Gibson, who really fits the bill here. His typically gruff persona works wonders in the early stages of the film, setting him up as an unlikable person who you really want to see change his ways.
And that’s exactly what you want for a good old fable. When he suddenly begins to hear women’s thoughts, the direction that the film is going to take becomes fully apparent, but it also sets up the story for a really heartwarming tale.
Of course, there’s the initial comedy of it all as Gibson takes advantage of his newfound powers to the full, and the fact that the movie is willing to play around a little bit without turning into a full-on lecture right from the start really makes it all the more charming.
With really strong writing and direction from Nancy Meyers, What Women Want is an enjoyably playful romantic comedy that counts on a blend of moral storytelling and entertainingly immoral humour from time to time.
What’s more, Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt work really well together as the film’s main focus of romance, with both playing strong-willed characters that are more than a match for one another, and the kind of pair that you really do want to end up together once they figure out all of their own issues.
Overall, then, I had a lot of fun with What Women Want. It’s a fun, playful romantic comedy with a wonderful bit of touching fable-esque drama, complete with strong writing, directing and great performances across the board, particularly from Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. So, that’s why I’m giving the film a 7.7.